Revealed: Do Fakenham and Wells have enough public toilets?

The public toilets on Beach Road near Wells Quay. Picture: Matthew Usher.

New data has revealed Wells has more than double the recommended number of public toilets - Credit: Matthew Usher.

Visitors to Wells won’t have to cross their legs as it appears the town has more than enough toilets to go around.

New data has revealed the popular north Norfolk destination has 24 public loos - when it should only need 10.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has set out its strategy for public conveniences, identifying where there is a pressing need for new toilets.

The existing toilet block at Queens Road, Fakenham. Picture: PLANNING DOCUMENTS

The existing toilet block at Queens Road, Fakenham. Picture: PLANNING DOCUMENTS - Credit: Archant

It found that towns such as North Walsham were among those with the greatest need. 

The authority's vision is to stop visitors from being caught short in the most affordable way possible, delivering "more innovative ways of managing public toilets".

Fakenham also has just enough toilets - a total of 18 - when it requires a minimum of 17. 

Toilet provision in the market town is set to be upgraded, with the Queen's Road W/C due to be demolished and rebuilt later in the year.

NNDC's 'decision matrix' has shown there are four towns in the district where the public convenience provision is low: Holt, North Walsham, Stalham and Weybourne.

Rubbish and human waste were left on Weybourne beach by visitors. Picture: Lyndon Swift

Rubbish and human waste were left on Weybourne beach by visitors in May 2020 - Credit: Archant

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North Walsham has the greatest need for new loos, with the decision matrix showing a need for 22 WCs against an actual provision of 12.

Holt needs 15 but has eight; Stalham needs 10 but has five; and Weybourne needs five but has only one. 

The latter suffered from a lack of public toilets after the national lockdown eased in May 2020, when visitors left human waste on the beach.

At the other end of the matrix, Cromer, Hoveton, Hickling, Ludham, Sheringham and Wells all have a 'high' provision, with Cromer offering 49 toilets against a minimum need of 24.

Councillor Nigel Lloyd from North Norfolk District Council

Councillor Nigel Lloyd from North Norfolk District Council opens a new public toilet in Weybourne - Credit: NNDC

In total, NNDC runs 38 public toilets.

The council has described public loos as an "emotive" issue, with the authority spending £730,000 over the past year to help people spend a penny.

Providing toilets is not a legal requirement for councils, but a council officer's report said "extensive" spending had been delivered because of a desire to support locals and visitors. 

A report to councillors said: "Many people feel toilet provision is key to supporting and promoting outdoor activities such as walking, boating and other sporting recreation in a significantly rural area where other provision may be limited."