Public toilet block passed after appeal

Sea View at Newbiggin-toilet story.
Sea View at Newbiggin-toilet story.

NEW public toilets that provoked a protest petition in Newbiggin have been approved by a planning inspector.

Newbiggin Town Council appealed when county councillors rejected the scheme for Watts Lane, between the seafront and the main shopping area.

A resident in nearby Sea View Terrace had argued homes would suffer loss of privacy and through possible anti-social behaviour.

He agreed shoppers and traders wanted new public toilets, but not on that site.

Now inspector Chris Checkley has granted permission, ruling “there is no evidence that the facility would result in a serious reduction in the living conditions of neighbouring residents as regards levels of privacy, noise or disturbance, visual impact or overshadowing”.

He said the lane was already a busy link in summer and the doors of the toilet block would face Front Street.

It will be open from 7am to 7pm and no doors or windows will overlook nearby homes.

The building will be erected in stone and slate as it is in a conservation area.

The town council said there was a local need, demonstrated in a survey that indicated a new toilet block was a top priority for residents.

After being refused planning permission, councillors reviewed the scheme and consulted the Town Team and the Portas Project before deciding to appeal.

The council had received six letters of objection and a petition signed by 89 people objecting to the proposals.