Toilet block to turn into cafe after plans get green light

This council toilet block in Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, will now become a cafe with a public disable

This council toilet block in Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, will now become a cafe with a public disabled toilet under newly approved plans Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

A former toilet block in Essex is to reopen as a cafe after plans for the project were approved by councillors.

The council-owned facility in Frinton Road, Holland-on-Sea, was closed as part of Tendring District Council's public convenience strategy, which came into effect in 2017.

Now, a lease has been agreed between the council and a tenant, Stuart Hazell, to open up a café with refurbished toilet facilities which would be open to the public.

Mr Hazell said he was looking forward to starting work on the block's conversion now that councillors had given him the green light to proceed.

"I hope this café will be a facility local residents and visitors can use and enjoy, while the toilet will help to provide an amenity to the community during café opening hours," he said.

The decision was approved by the council's planning committee on Wednesday, February 12, with the plans including an extension and improvement to the existing public toilet.

The cafe will also have indoor and outdoor seating areas.

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Planning permission restricts the café to opening between 9am-6pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-4pm on Sundays and bank holidays - but the toilet will remain accessible year-round.

Carlo Guglielmi, district cabinet member for finance and corporate resources, added: "Opening up this former toilet block will make use of a redundant building, bring in a modest income to the council, and provide an amenity for the community.

"We have successfully let two of our other former toilet blocks in the district, with another in Dovercourt also in the process of being converted to a café, while one in Walton has been turned into a recording studio.

"This forms part of our Property Strategy to make best use of our buildings for the benefit of local communities."

The Walton toilet block, in Church Road, is now Wave Break studio, run by Paul Hepworth.

When granted planning permission for his studio, Mr Hepworth said: "There is a rich heritage of music in this area and I want to build on that for all ages.

"I am keen to offer something creative with an educational use and for people with disabilities, as I used to work as a music therapist and know the benefits this can have."

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