‘Dilapidated’ toilets built in the 1950s — with urinals that have running water all hours of the day and expensive water bills — are set to be demolished and replaced with new, purpose-built ones.
Plans to knock down the Gate Lane public toilets in Freshwater and build new ones have been submitted to the Isle of Wight Council.
A group established by Freshwater Parish Council to design the new commodities was set up several months ago and it’s ultimately thought to be cheaper to demolish and start again then refurbish the previous site by almost £10,000.
A design and access statement from the parish council describes the toilets as ‘dilapidated’ and in a ‘state of disrepair’ but with one unique element.
The toilets features a design of urinals which have continuous flowing water, making them very costly to run, with much higher water bills compared to other toilets under Freshwater Parish Council’s control.
An invoice from November 2019 shows the water consumption at Gate Lane was £1,617.96 for three months, whereas a bill for Moa Place, also in Freshwater, from October, cost £171.82.
Heather Rowell, Freshwater Parish Council clerk, said the council had had a number of complaints about the toilets.
“When we took over the toilets from the Isle of Wight Council we did not realise what the water usage was like. We thought there was a leak but we couldn’t find one — it is quite excessive.
“We know there is a large water tank which runs all the time, it is just complex and problematic.
“The current facilities are very old fashioned and are not at a standard we expect.
“We want what is best for residents and visitors to the Island as they are very popular in the summer.”
The new toilets could be extended to include disabled loos with baby changing facilities and more stalls.
The group was interested in getting pay-to-use toilets, having had a presentation from the company Danfo. However, talks have not progressed and the parish council now wish to keep the facilities free.
Comments on the proposal can be made until February 28.