Date published: 4th September 2018

Visitors and residents in North Norfolk are set to enjoy a huge investment in public conveniences.

North Norfolk District Council’s Cabinet has agreed to spend £600,000 on lavatories across the district. The investment bucks a nationwide trend that has seen many local authorities withdrawing from the provision of these facilities.

The plans involve the rebuilding of the lavatories at Lusher’s Passage, Sheringham, and Stearman’s Yard, Wells. Significant upgrades are planned for the facilities in Queens Road, Fakenham, and New Road, North Walsham. There will also be refurbishment of the loos in Coast Road, Bacton, and Coast Road, Walcott.

Meanwhile, new or significantly improved facilities at West Runton Beach Access and Cart Gap, Happisburgh, have been previously proposed as part of the Deep History Coast initiative, and funding for those has already been secured.

Despite the financial constraints faced by all local authorities, NNDC regards the provision of public conveniences as a key service, underpinning the district’s tourism offering as well as town centre economies.

North Norfolk has 39 public lavatories across the district, including on seafronts, in car parks, in town and village centres and at rural locations along the coast and on the Broads, and there are no charges for their use. It’s thought that no similar tourist destination in England has more.

Cllr Richard Price, NNDC Portfolio Holder for Property, said: “The provision of public conveniences is not a statutory duty of local authorities. Nevertheless, North Norfolk District Council is committed to providing them for the benefit of both residents and visitors alike.

“With over 40 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, I can state categorically that it doesn’t matter how good the food and service in your restaurant is nor how many awards you have won; if the toilets are not scrupulously clean, the customer is unlikely to return.”

Cllr Karen Ward, NNDC Shadow Portfolio Holder for Property, said: “I am pleased at this initial investment in modern facilities for residents and visitors alike. Investing in innovative solutions to provide cost-effective longer opening hours helps extend the visitor season throughout the year, which helps our local businesses, too.”

Cllr John Rest, Leader of the Independent Group at NNDC, said: “NNDC has a proud reputation for providing essential public facilities for locals and visitors alike. It is our car park revenue that allows us to invest in these public toilets and we anticipate that over the forthcoming years we will be in a position to refurbish many more of the facilities.”

The recommendation will now go in front of NNDC’s Full Council, which is scheduled to meet next on September 26.

Last updated: 4th September 2018