July 24 2014 Latest news:
Friday, July 4, 2014
The first self-cleaning toilet in South Norfolk is set to be opened in the autumn.
Harleston has been chosen as the first of five market towns in the district to benefit from the new loos, which are being installed as part of a project to upgrade facilities in the area to bring them into the 21st century.
The toilets, which will replace existing loos in Bullock Fair car park, are designed to be self-cleaning – automatically washing the floors and pan after every visit.
The lavatories will also be able to send a text message to council staff when the toilet roll is running low, while the former Bullock Fair public toilets could be converted for some other commercial use.
Other towns and villages set to get new public toilets as part of the scheme include Diss, Loddon, Wymondham, Hingham and Long Stratton.
Martin Wilby, cabinet member for localism and communities at South Norfolk Council, said the idea was to improve cleanliness and reduce maintenance.
The technology should be able to do it automatically, but, should it falter, maintenance staff will still visit the toilets once a day.
He said the new toilets were being provided as part of the council’s Market Town’s Initiative to ensure a high-quality and welcoming environment for visitors and improve visitor and resident satisfaction with facilities.
He added: “Investing in better toilet facilities in each town will help to improve the overall visitor experience, increase satisfaction and help to ensure that people choose to visit and shop there again and again.
“New self-cleaning, efficient toilet facilities will offer a reliable and superior experience for users.”
In Diss, the public toilets are located behind the tourist information centre in Mere Street, while in Wymondham they are at Market Street car park.
In Long Stratton, the toilets are in Swan Lane car park, while in Hingham they are in the Market Place and in Loddon at the Staithe car park and in the High Street.
The improvements to the toilets are part of a £1m investment in South Norfolk market towns over the next 14 months to make the areas “look a million dollars”.
Some of the older and smaller brick-built toilets could be suitable for conversion to small shops.
What do you think of the plans for the new and improved public toilets? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.