The £500,000 plan to redo two town loos

The arch on Sheringham's seafront, where The Leas public toilets can be found. 

The arch on Sheringham's seafront, where The Leas public toilets can be found. - Credit: Google StreetView

Two north Norfolk towns are in line for new, accessible loos under a £500,000 plan.

Changing Places toilets - which include a hoist, changing bench and extra space so that people with any disability should be able to use them - would be installed in North Walsham and Sheringham.

Emma Spagnola, Changing Places campaigner and North Norfolk district councillor for Suffield Park, said she was thrilled with the plan, which will go before the council's cabinet on November 29.

She said: "It's fantastic, and something I'm really pleased the council is on board with. 

"With our beach wheelchairs at Cromer and Sheringham as well it's going to make north Norfolk a really inclusive place for people who visit, and also people who live here." 

Emma Spagnola, Liberal Democrat

Emma Spagnola, Changing Places campaigner and North Norfolk district councillor - Credit: Emma Spagnola

If approved, one of the toilets will replace the current toilets at The Leas on the Esplanade in Sheringham. 

Due to regular failures in its Victorian drains, The Leas is currently the council's costliest set of loos, costing around £12,000 a year.  

The toilet block at the Vicarage Street Car Park in North Walsham - which was bought second-hand from a London borough in 2012  - would be demolished and a new block built, although the exact location has not yet been agreed. 

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The council operates 38 public loos across the district and has spent an average of £726,000 a year over the the past five years on them.

Aside from the money for the new toilets, almost half - £350,000 - of the council's public convenience budget for 2021/22 goes to Serco, who cleans them. 

Other costs include maintenance, repairs, support services and running costs such as insurance. 

Engineers at Marble Arch, on Sheringham seafront. Photo: Tim Groves archive

A historic photos of the arch on Sheringham's seafront, where The Leas public toilets can be found. - Credit: Tim Groves archive

The works would follow Changing Places toilets being installed at the North Norfolk Information Centre in Cromer, and works starting on similar facilities in Stearmans Yard, Wells, and Queens Road, Fakenham, both of which are due to be finished by April. 

The council has also published a draft 'public toilet provision strategy' which rules out charging the public to use toilets, but identifies a need to find 'better and fairer' ways of running them amid rising costs and shrinking budgets.

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