Needham Market loo plan prompts concern

The proposed site of the a new temporary public toilet in Needham Market
The proposed site of the a new temporary public toilet in Needham Market

Council chiefs have launched plans for a new public toilet in Needham Market despite concerns from nearby residents

Needham Market Town Council want to build a new temporary cabin style unit at the rear of the High Street car park.

The planned corrugated steel walls of the new temporary public toilet in Needham Market

The planned corrugated steel walls of the new temporary public toilet in Needham Market

They say the town, which has a population of around 5,000, has been without an ‘effective public facility’, since the demolition of the former toilet building in Barretts Lane in 2013.

Several residents close to the proposed site however are concerned the new loo, providing two female and one male toilet, along with disabled access, would take up car parking spaces, may lead to odours and also be an eyesore.

A Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council heritage officer also raised concerns the green, steel corrugated structure would be ‘inappropriate to the character’ of the conservation area in which it is set.

A spokesman for the town council said: “Public toilets are a fundamental need for most people. The council wishes to attract visitors which is vital to support local businesses and to promote 
economic development.

“Lack of public toilets can lead to an insanitary environment which is not only unpleasant but also risks contamination and spreading infection.”

Needham Market Town Council took over the running of public toilets after Mid Suffolk District Council offered existing ones to town and parish councils in 2011 for free, or at peppercorn prices, to save costs.

The Barretts Lane building was later deemed ‘unfit for purpose’.

Objections on the MSDC website to the new proposal also include fears it could affect property prices and is too close to Christchurch Hall, a listed building.

Letters also included a suggestion people could also use the MSDC run toilet at Needham Lake or those of ‘local businesses’.

“The town currently has one single public portaloo style toilet at Barretts Lane,” said the council spokesman.

“The temporary one will be unobtrusive, low impact, and can also be linked to drainage works.

“A location for a permanent public toilet will continue to be sought plus the raising of funds required to develop it.”