Council could splash £40 a week on temporary beauty spot loos

Mousehold Heath feature. Zaks Restaurant.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The public loos next door to Zak's American Diner in Mousehold Heath are set to remain closed for the time being Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Never mind spending a penny - the city council might have to fork out £40 a week for temporary loos at a popular beauty spot in the city. 

The toilets near Zak's restaurant at Norwich's Mousehold Heath were closed 17 months ago as a result of the pandemic and have remained out of action ever since.

And while other public conveniences have re-opened, a litany of problems with the block have left council bosses unable to re-open them.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: "The toilets were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, there has been a leak in one of the toilets, where a seal needs to be replaced.

"But there are also larger refurbishment works that need to be carried out on the building, which is old and in need of attention."

This week, the Mousehold Conservators, a committee made up of councillors and volunteers which is responsible for the upkeep of the heath, will consider what the next steps for the loos will be.

While immediately re-opening them is not among the options being considered, members will be asked whether to simply redirect visitors to the heath to the block by the pitch and putt course, or install temporary replacements.

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Should the latter option be taken, it would see the council splash £40 of tax payer's money every week to hire a portable replacement until the repairs can be done.

The City Hall spokesman added: "Decisions will be made by the Mousehold Conservators about what work is carried out and the toilets reopening.

"People visiting Mousehold Heath can also use the toilets located next to the pitch and putt when the course is open."

Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, Mousehold Heath has enjoyed a resurgence in demand for its services, with national lockdowns forcing people to rediscover outdoor spaces for their daily exercise while shops, pubs and other attractions were closed.

However, despite the increase in use of the heath, the council said it has not received any complaints about the closure of the loos.

The conservators committee will consider its options on Friday.