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Anger over toilet closure in Southwold

PUBLISHED: 08:49 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:57 06 July 2010

AN ANGRY beach hut owner has criticised council bosses for closing a toilet block close to a popular stretch of beach.

Micheal Mcelarney said many people in Southwold were concerned because Waveney District Council has shut the conveniences on Kilcock Cliff.

AN ANGRY beach hut owner has criticised council bosses for closing a toilet block close to a popular stretch of beach.

Micheal Mcelarney said many people in Southwold were concerned because Waveney District Council has shut the conveniences on Kilcock Cliff.

He said this meant holidaymakers and local residents now had to walk a great deal further to spend a penny and was worried about the affect it could have on the resort's Blue Flag status.

“It's always handy to have a toilet there because anybody on the beach with children can use it,” he said. “Now people have to pack everything up, cross the main road and go almost to the church - they will only make that trip once.

“We bought the beach hut because it was close to the toilets for the grandchildren. Now we haven't got that.

“Gordon Brown and Prince Charles have visited and said what a lovely place Southwold is - but now we don't even have adequate toilet facilities.

“They were closed for winter and the council said they were going to redecorate them in April but this hasn't happened - they haven't done anything.

“It wouldn't cost much to refurbish them - I could do it. They don't need to be Mayfair standard, just a working toilet. The toilets in Lowestoft are good but we seem to be getting to the raw end of the deal.”

Mr Mcelarney said he also feared trade would suffer in the town and that Southwold would lose its coveted Blue Flag status.

“There is a lot of concern that people might just use the beach or go behind a beach hut instead,” he said. “The Blue Flag beach will not be a Blue Flag any longer.

“Also, a lot of the coach drivers bring their passengers here to use the toilet and after they've done they wander into town and spend money. Now the toilet has shut there is a danger that this won't happen.”

A spokeswoman for Waveney District Council said the toilets at Kilcock Cliff were not viable for refurbishment.

“Given the award criteria and the alternative provision available, we would not expect this closure to adversely affect future Blue Flag assessments,” she added. “As well as Southwold Pier, there is provision in town at Church Green, Ferry Road (Gun Hill) and Southwold Harbour.”

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