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Public toilets to be knocked down in Norfolk town

PUBLISHED: 16:10 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:35 06 June 2019

The public toilets on Howdale Road, which could be demolished  Picture: Sarah Hussain

The public toilets on Howdale Road, which could be demolished Picture: Sarah Hussain

Archant

Public toilets which were closed to save money could now be demolished.

West Norfolk council has applied to knock down the loos on the Howdale in Downham Market.

It says that they are no longer fit for purpose and were attracting anti-social behavior to the site.

A West Norfolk spokesman said: "They were regularly vandalised, underused and sometimes used inappropriately. It was agreed that they would be removed from the site.

"Power and water have already been disconnected and the internal fixtures and fittings removed.

"We are awaiting costs back from several contractors before we can give an idea as to when the demolition will take place."

Once the shell has been taken down, the site will be back-filled with soil and grass will be planted, the council's planning application says.

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The public toilets on Howdale Road were closed permanently a year ago. Elsewhere, conveniences in Wales Court and at the Memorial Field in the town remain open.

Discussions over the running of toilets at the Town Hall car Park, on Bridge Street, have been ongoing for the past 18 months.

Borough councillors hope Downham Market Town Council will take them over, to help them cut costs.

Deputy town clerk Richard Davidson said: "Concerns regarding public toilets provision does abound but councils have to make hard choices in respect of restricted spending.

"Nowadays there are many alternative facilities such as those in supermarkets, coffee shops and public buildings."

Local authorities are not legally required to provide public toilets but the loss of public conveniences is becoming a common issue in towns.

A petition was created a few years ago calling on the government to make it a legal requirement for local authorities to provide them.

According to the petition over the last decade around 40pc of public toilets across the country have been closed.

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