Six years on and still no plans for ‘eyesore’ toilets in Tombland

PUBLISHED: 08:55 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:07 30 November 2018

The closed toilets in Tombland. Photo: Ian Gallagher

The closed toilets in Tombland. Photo: Ian Gallagher


It has been described as an eyesore in one of the most historic and picturesque parts of Norwich city centre.

The Tombland toilets from when they were open in 2004. Photo: Natasha LysterThe Tombland toilets from when they were open in 2004. Photo: Natasha Lyster

But despite being closed for six years, there are still no plans to reopen or demolish Tombland’s public toilets.

The concrete block, which is located off Queen Street, was closed by Norwich City Council in 2012 due to maintenance costs.

Now, calls have been made for the loos to either reopen or for the block to be demolished altogether.

Vanessa Trevelyan, chair of civic watchdog the Norwich Society, said: “The toilets really are an eyesore, and since they are not open and no use to anyone they should really be removed.

Vanessa Trevelyan. Photo: The Norwich SocietyVanessa Trevelyan. Photo: The Norwich Society

“But what the Norwich Society would like to see is a plan for Tombland altogether because it has become a bit unloved.”

The city council said it was a cabinet decision to close the toilets following a budget consultation.

It said the toilets were “under used” and expensive to maintain in light of dwindling government funding.

“Resources were devoted to continuing to provide essential front line services for Norwich residents,” a council spokesman said.

“As you can imagine they also easily became an anti-social behaviour hotspot.”

The council said it had no plans to re-open the toilets, but will “continue to consider what to do with them in the future”.

Ian Gallagher, owner of the Tombland Bookshop, claimed he had enquired with Norse, which is owned by Norfolk County Council, about taking on the toilets, “but heard nothing back”.

He said he had considered investing in the block to use it as storage for books.

“I think realistically, the only option they have is to demolish the top half and flatten the area to open up Tombland,” he said.

Gail Mayhew, chair of the Cathedral Magdalen & St Augustine’s Forum, said she would like to see the toilets reopened or redeveloped to allow businesses to use it.

She said: “From a neighbourhood level, I know that having no public loos in an area where there are a lot of people is quite problematic.

“But I would like to see a little business in there, maybe selling flowers or seasonal food. You could do something quite creative with it.

“It would make a bigger contribution than just raising it.”

• What would you like to see happen with the toilets? Comment below

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