January 26 2015 Latest news:
Saturday, March 1, 2014
It enjoys scenic views of Pakefield beach and the briny North Sea beyond.
But the owners of a clifftop holiday cottage near Lowestoft are confident that people will be prepared to spend more than a penny to stay there – despite its previous role as a public toilet.
Beach Cottage, nestled at the end of Saxon Road, could be said to be “a former loo with a view” after the run-down building was transformed to provide a one-bedroom holiday property.
After buying the toilet block and a small adjoining car park from Waveney District Council, Dave Challis, Chris Read and Eric Read – who all own other cottages in Saxon Road – went on to secure planning permission to convert it and spent six months last year turning it into a holiday home.
People who inquire about or book Beach Cottage are told about the novel history of the building.
Chris Read, 55, who works for Hoseseaons in Lowestoft, said: “We did think a lot about the name – ‘Loo with a View’ and ‘Wee Cottage’ were both mentioned.
“We do tell everyone it was an old toilet block and that has put no one off as they can see how nice it is now, and also the fantastic views if offers. It is in such a wonderful setting.
“After six months of work it has been transformed from an ugly eyesore into an attractive holiday cottage.”
When the council announced it wanted to sell off the toilet block and car park, it prompted concern in Pakefield and a campaign was launched to safeguard the site.
Originally, the three owners purchased the toilet block and adjoining land for an undisclosed sum so they would be able to keep the parking for the row of cottages in Saxon Road. But after discussions with council planning officers over restrictions on the use of the building, they were allowed to convert it into the holiday cottage.
So far, 10 couples have
stayed at the cottage and there have been several repeat bookings as the holiday-makers were impressed by what it had to offer.
Mr Challis, 70, a retired carpenter, said: “The story behind it all is that we wanted to keep our parking for the cottages when the council announced they were selling the toilet and car park. We did most of the work ourselves and the work was to a very high standard.
“We have had 10 bookings so far and the feedback has been very positive indeed. Everyone seems to love it.”
■ For details on Beach Cottage and to book it, visit www.beach-cottage-pakefield.co.uk or ring 01502 516635.