North Norfolk moves towards goal of 'Changing Places' toilet in every town

A Changing Places toilet at intu Chapelfield in Norwich. Picture: EMMA SPAGNOLA

Inside a Changing Places toilet. - Credit: EMMA SPAGNOLA

North Norfolk is on the way to becoming one of the easiest rural districts in the country to go to the toilet as it splashes out £300,000 of government money on new loos.

The council has won a £300,000 grant through a national Changing Places programme, which it will put towards its goal of bring the enhanced loos to all seven of its towns. 

Changing Places toilets are large, accessible facilities designed to accommodate people with severe disabilities, and include equipment such as hoists, curtains, changing benches and space for carers.

Speaking at Monday's North Norfolk District Council cabinet meeting, council leader Tim Adams said: "It's certainly our ambition to deliver one of these facilities in every town."

Cromer already has a Changing Places toilet - next to the visitor centre at The Meadows car park - and similar facilities in  Stearmans Yard, Wells and Queen's Road, Fakenham are due to be finished later this month. 

Two more changing places toilets in Vicarage Street, North Walsham and at the Leas in Sheringham should be ready by March next year. 

Eric Seward, the council's finance and assets portfolio holder, said the council was working with the Museum of the Broads at Stalham to provide one there, after the museum won a Heritage Lottery bid for £15,000 for such a toilet, and there was another plan for a toilet in Albert Street, Holt. 

Wendy Fredericks, councillor for Mundesley, called for the village to get its own Changing Places toilet. Nigel Dixon, Conservative, called for NNDC to consult with local councils in Stalham and Hoveton on the plans.

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He said: "There are engagement opportunities for the district council with town and parish councils across the district. Although Hoveton doesn't qualify under the seven 'principle settlements', Hoveton and Wroxham shouldn't be ignored as a conurbation."

Council documents say the £300,000 grant was "one of the largest in the country" granted through the Changing Places scheme.

The council said from September 2018 to November last year it had allocated £1.24m for toilet improvements across the district.