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Bid for revamped toilets that look like 'shed from Midsomer Murders' delayed

PUBLISHED: 13:54 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:41 24 January 2020

The facilities, at the North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) owned Stearmans Yard carpark in Wells, are set to be completely remodelled. Picture: North Norfolk District Council

The facilities, at the North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) owned Stearmans Yard carpark in Wells, are set to be completely remodelled. Picture: North Norfolk District Council

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Plans to revolutionise a coastal town's public toilets have been put on hold after debate broke out over their appearance.

The facilities, at the North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) owned Stearmans Yard carpark in Wells, are set to be completely remodelled. Picture: North Norfolk District CouncilThe facilities, at the North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) owned Stearmans Yard carpark in Wells, are set to be completely remodelled. Picture: North Norfolk District Council

The facilities, at the North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) owned Stearmans Yard carpark in Wells, are set to be completely remodelled as part of a £600,000 scheme to revolutionise toilets across the district.

But on January 23, at a development committee meeting, the plans were deferred by councillors over concerns about the corten steel cladding being used.

When a vote was cast, three councillors approved the original plans while nine voted against.

Then Nigel Pearce, councillor for Roughton, requested a deferral, with concerns that the materials do not match the rest of the town.

Nigel Pearce, Liberal Democrat. Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE CANDIDATENigel Pearce, Liberal Democrat. Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE CANDIDATE

Peter Fisher, who represents Wells and Holkham, expressed his objection the plans and said the toilets look like a "tractor shed from Midsomer Murders".

He said: "Wells is such a glorious place to visit and on some days traffic has to be stopped from entering the town because there is nowhere left to park.

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"The public toilets are outdated, tarnished and barely adequate. The promise of new toilets was greeted with some relief by the town council and residents alike.

Peter Fisher. Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE CANDIDATEPeter Fisher. Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE CANDIDATE

"The proposed buildings cladded in corten steel, which when rust and go a less-than-interesting shade of orange, will stand out and not blend in.

"And furthermore it looks like an art designer's idea of a tractor shed from Midsomer Murders. Wells desperately needs toilets, but not looking like this."

The new facilities would include a separate male and female toilet along with a changing places facility, three accessible or gender neutral toilets and a family room.

NNDC currently own 39 sets of public toilets and despite it not being a statutory requirement to provide them, is keen to continue to do so.

Paul Heinrich, the vice-chairman of the development committee, said: "I have far fewer problems than my colleagues do on this, it's a modern building but we are looking at a building in the middle of a carpark.

"To use a modern and high quality design is not necessarily wrong and personally I have no objection."

A total of 11 councillors voted for a deferral to the plans on the grounds of the materials being used and not the design.

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