Town toilet block plans flushed out

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

RESIDENTS have won their battle to prevent a new public toilet block being built in a seaside town.

Newbiggin Town Council had submitted plans for a new disabled access amenity with three toilets and storage unit in Sea View Newbiggin.

But after a number of residents objected to the plans and handed in a petition, members of Northumberland County Council’s south east area planning committee decided to make a site visit to see how the proposals would impact on the area.

And at last week’s meeting, they refused the plans – which had been recommended for approval by officers, with insufficient public toilet facilities within the town centre being highlighted as one of the reasons to support the application.

But the committee was told the main issues were the principle of the development, impact on the character of the conservation area, and the impact on visual and residential amenity.

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

Objections were raised over the visual impact, scale, location, highways and pedestrian safety, and the proximity to some houses.

Michael Rigg, of Sea View, was one of those who objected and handed in a petition.

He said: “The layout and siting of this facility, and the sheer appearance of it being there, is causing great stress and worry to us and other local residents and businesses in this location.

“The proposed building would actually be blocking the visual appearance of our historic house dated 1850, part of Newbiggin’s heritage, and is spoiling the existing character of this particular part of Newbiggin’s conservation area.”

Frank Bertorelli, of Bridge Street, said: “Although I do agree that Newbiggin is in need of public toilet facilities to cater for the increased visitor numbers, I am really concerned that Newbiggin Town Council cannot seem to find any other site for a toilet facility other than this.

“I strongly feel that the whole idea of building a public toilet facility on this site quite nonsensical and really not thought through thoroughly enough by the town council.

“It would have a detrimental effect on the surrounding businesses and residential properties and be an eyesore for the town, not to mention the smell that might emanate from it during the summer months into houses through open windows.