Sign up to our Editors Choice newsletter now! Click here

Could public toilets provide answer to UK's housing crisis?

Accessibility Menu

Menu Search

24dash - The UK's most up-to-date social housing and public sector news website

Could public toilets provide answer to UK's housing crisis?

24DASH.COM Logo

Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing

Could public toilets provide answer to UK's housing crisis? Could public toilets provide answer to UK's housing crisis?

Could public toilets help provide the answer to the UK's housing crisis?

It may sound ridiculous, but as local authorities across the country continue to close hundreds of public conveniences in a bid to save money, there are opportunities for housing associations and other developers to step in and either convert the vacant buildings into homes or demolish them and redevelop the sites.

A precedent for such activity was set last week in the Surrey village of Ewell after the public toilets in the high street (pictured) were sold at auction for £82,500 - with planning permission already secured in principle from the council.

According to the auctioneers, Epsom and Ewell council has agreed for two maisonettes to be built on the site. This is despite concern being raised over the size of the homes as the site in its entirety measures 0.019 acres.

There has also been vociferous local opposition to the closure of the toilets.

The facilities were originally closed in April 2010, along with two other public convenienes, to allow the council to save £21,000 a year in maintenance costs.

Back in 2010, Tracy Woodhouse and her partner Graham Peck were praised for redeveloping former public toilets overlooking Scarborough's seafront.

The public loo was closed down in the 1990s and for a few years became a seasonal cafe. When the lease became available, the couple decided it would make a perfect home and a local architect produced plans which maintained the character and style of the building and the council backed the scheme.

They spent around £35,000 refurbishing and rebuilding the property themselves in their spare time and negotiated a new 21-year lease costing £1,800 a year.

Comments

Login and comment using one of your accounts...