Approval for new Bognor seafront toilet plans

The changes mean the doors will now open toward the beach rather than inland as originally designed (pictured)
The changes mean the doors will now open toward the beach rather than inland as originally designed (pictured)

Amended plans for the new seafront toilets have been approved despite concerns.

The decision had been deferred to rectify issues such as the direction of the door openings, however councillor Barbara Oakley was one of many at Arun’s development control committee meeting last night who believed it still ‘needs a great deal more thought’.

Mrs Oakley raised issue over the unisex cubicles stating it hadn’t been brought to public attention.

“I am all for diversity and inclusivity but on the basis of the latter provisions must be provided for people who do not wish to use shared facilities. For instance Muslim women, who we hope would come to Arun as visitors and residents.”

In reply, councillor Mrs Susan Bence said: “I have had quite a lot of complaints from people about toilets closing, I haven’t myself heard any complaints about them being unisex. I think we need to now get on with it so we have them for the summer.”

Chairman Richard Bower said it was a ‘sensitivity, not a planning issue’.

The building’s aesthetics also split opinion again, ranging from councillor Jim Brooks’ view it showed ‘no effort’ and resembled a toll booth to councillor Stephen Haymes’ belief it ‘will blend in well with a modern seafront environment’.

Councillor Paul Wells queried when it was decided to go for a modernist approach rather than the Victorian scheme decided in 1991 and said the lack of eco-features such as solar panels was a ‘missed opportunity’ when the council ‘should be taking the lead’.

The plans (BR/194/17/PL) were passed with nine councillors in support, three against and one abstention.