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Mere’s Mouth toilet block set to be demolished

Mere's Mouth toilets. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Mere's Mouth toilets. Picture: Mark Bullimore

The public toilet block at Mere’s Mouth in Diss looks set to be demolished.

At its full council meeting this week, Diss town council decided not to accept ownership and management of the building from South Norfolk Council(SNC).

Ownership of the toilets was due to transfer to the town council at the end of March following an £80,000 refurbishment of the building.

However, a structural survey found “serious problems” with the building’s foundations with SNC deciding it would be “uneconomical to repair” and suggesting the toilets should be demolished, instead.

Diss town council had, at an earlier meeting, considered options including taking the toilets over with a lump sum of £80,000.

But councillors also heard there were a number of unknown factors, such as the suitability of the ground for new construction, the view of the Parochial Charities as landowner, the demand for toilet provision, and the possibilities of alternative sites.

A proposed full review looking at the whole of the Mere’s Mouth and Madgett’s Walk, including replacing the raised bed sleepers, installing a pump to deal with high water levels and demolition of the toilets was described as too ambitious.

Any work is also likely to affect the former tourist office, which is structurally linked to the building.

At the full council meeting this week, the council voted to pass the responsibility for the building back to SNC, with the request it not be demolished until after September.

“As the toilet building is not economically repairable in its current state, we have decided the district council should keep the building,” said Diss Mayor, Trevor Wenman.

“We will ask that the building is not demolished until after September so as not to disrupt the tourist season, continue to consult with the district council and also look into the possibility of setting up some kind of community toilet scheme, involving businesses, as a stop gap. These have been successfully run in other parts of the country.

“Most importantly, we also want to consult with the community to find out what people would like to see happen there.”

The Mere’s Mouth toilets are one of three public facilities in Diss; the others being in Diss Park and the Corn Hall.

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