Harleston’s controversial toilet block is to be removed at a cost of more than £150,000

The high-tech Harleston toilets. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

The high-tech Harleston toilets. Picture by: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

It was hailed as a momentous occasion for Harleston and a first for south Norfolk.

The installation of the revolutionary 'self-cleaning' toilet block was opened in the town amid great fanfare and annoyance from residents.

But after just two years, the toilet block on Bullock Fair will be closed and removed at a total cost to the tax payer of more than £150,000.

The installation of the toilet block in December 2014, which cost £122,730, was the start of a programme by South Norfolk Council to refurbish all of its public toilets in support of its Market Towns Initiative.

Last night, the toilet proposals were discussed and agreed at a meeting held by Harleston Town Council after discussions with South Norfolk Council.

The toilet block will be removed at a cost of £30,000 and the district council will look at a number of options to reuse the toilets – including requests from local sports or community groups.

Kay Mason Billig, district cabinet member for environment and recycling, said: 'The block received complaints and vandalism during its first months of operation and suffered initial teething issues.

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'I think it's safe to say that the modern toilets have not been popular with the people of Harleston and so we have listened and have agreed to reuse the toilet block, without the electronics, elsewhere and refurbish the old loos.

'We are supporting our market towns, working with business and town teams and the town councils to look at ways of increasing footfall and supporting the local economy.

'We have looked for any and every opportunity that would enable us to make a positive difference to the future of the towns and the new toilet block in Harleston was part of that initiative.'

The town council is set to take over the running of the old toilet block – which is more than 50 years old – after being refurbished at an undisclosed cost to the district council.

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