Design of flagship building in Brandon criticised over unisex toilets.

Brandon Centre, Bury Road, Brandon
Brandon Centre, Bury Road, Brandon

The design of a flagship building in Brandon, which only opened at the weekend, has been criticised because it has unisex toilets.

One councillor says he has been inaudated with complaints about the new facilities in The Brandon Centre which replaces public toilets.

“I was out down the High Street on Tuesday – I must have been stopped by about 20 people who are unhappy with these new toilets,” said Forest Heath District Cllr Eddie Stewart.

“One lady said to me, the only unisex toilet I will use is in my own home.

“I have been inaundated with people complaining.

“Brandon is well known for having a high number of senior citizens – probably more per cent of population than anywhere else in the county – and they go and put something like that there – people aren’t going to use it.”

The Brandon Centre, is Bury Road, is a former primary school which has been converted to house the town library, a pre school, children’s centre, as well as a base for the safer neighbourhood team, and a contact point for the district council.

But Cllr Stewart said the toilets - four cubicles joined together and no main door – are unacceptable.

“Considering they got rid of the other public toilets and this is meant to be the new public toilets during opening hours – it is a big issue.

“Whoever the hell sanctioned that I don’t know but if it is an attempt to save money, it is a poor one.”

Fellow district councillor for Brandon, Cllr Bill Bishop also had concerns about the toilets.

“It is probably the one thing that people don’t like about the building.

“I think we have got to give it a chance to see how bad it is.”

He said people were embarassed to use them but suggested the situation could be resolved if the police toilets in the same building could also be made available for public use.

“It is difficult for elderly people. But it is only a minor part of a fantastic building.

“It is the most prominent, loved building in Brandon and its been brilliantly brought back to life.

“We will have to wait to see what the public think about it.”

A Suffolk County Council spokesperson said; “Unisex public toilets were always part of the planning process for the Brandon Centre and we made it a priority to consult with the public prior to any final decisions being made. “We did not receive any objections during this process and have not received any formal complaints from local people.”