Could town finally get new toilets?

FRESH plans for a public toilet block are being considered for a plot of land bought for £300,000 by Sudbury Town Council.

Discussions on how best to use the land, behind the town hall in Gaol Lane, have been ongoing since the site was bought with a loan in 2008.

Potential options include affordable housing being built, inviting land owners to buy sections of the plot or the town council developing the land itself.

At a meeting of the town council on Tuesday, John Sayers said the possibility of building new public toilets on the land – which is costing around £14,000 a year in interest – should be explored.

“The need for new public toilets is there and I think we would see a good response to this,” he said.

“We have out-of-date toilet facilities in the town and Sudbury can do better.”

Sue Brotherwood, council clerk, said plans for a new toilet block with a parents and toddler room, waiting room and disabled toilet had received the support of Babergh District Council in June 2009.

However, this stalled when section 106 money – funds provided by developers to offset large builds, such as supermarkets or houses, and available following the extension of Tesco in Springlands Way – was withdrawn when the district council decided the plans would not enhance the town centre.

Andy Welsh said he was happy to add the toilet block option to the list, but a decision on the land’s future use must be decided before plans were drawn up.

“We have already burdened the tax payer with the cost of the land and I don’t want more cost before a decision is made,” he said.

Ian Pointon agreed that it was time the uncertainty surrounding the land was settled.

“We are sitting on an expensive asset and servicing a loan for this asset,” he said.

“It is embarrassing that we bought the land and have done nothing with it.”

Mr Pointon said that a financial options appraisal should be carried out to determine the land’s most appropriate use. Members agreed that this was the best way forward and a new public toilet block would not be ruled out.

The council will now await the findings of the report once funds have been allocated by its finance committee.