Harleston’s controversial ‘state-of-the-art- toilets to be removed

The self-cleaning toilets in Harleston
The self-cleaning toilets in Harleston
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They were dubbed as ‘state-of-the-art’ facilities — but Harleston’s controversial toilet block is set to go to a new home.

Installed nearly two years ago at a cost of £122,730 by South Norfolk Council, the self-cleaning toilets were plagued by vandalism and complaints by local residents.

The old public toilets in Harleston Budgens car park ANL-150225-150310009

The old public toilets in Harleston Budgens car park ANL-150225-150310009

But it has been revealed they are to be removed, with the district council now to examine ways they can be reused.

Redenhall with Harleston Town Council are then set to take on the old facilities, subject to a refurbishment and an agreement.

Town council chairman Barry Woods said they would be free at the point of use to residents.

“I would have to say when South Norfolk Council first put forward to our council the toilet’s operating procedures and specifications, everything seemed to be very good,” he said.

The reality is they never really performed to what was promised

Barry Woods

“The reality is they never really performed to what was promised.

“South Norfolk have now made a decision, a hard decision I imagine.

“It is one that is a brave decision, that they are holding their hands up and admitting their mistake. It is one of those unfortunate things that if you are intending to progress, sometimes you make a mistake.”

Councillor Kay Mason Billig, South Norfolk Council Cabinet member for Environment and Recycling, added: “We have looked for any and every opportunity that would enable us to make a positive difference to the future of the towns and the new toilet block in Harleston was part of that initiative.

“The block received complaints and vandalism during its first months of operation and suffered initial teething issues.

“I think it’s safe to say that the modern toilets have not been popular with the people of Harleston and so we have listened and have agreed to reuse the toilet block, without the electronics, elsewhere and refurbish the old loos.”