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Village toilet tussle

Posted on February 27 2017 at 2:53:22

Old toilet entrance

Barnt Green parish councillors are debating the possibility of having a new public toilet in the village, some fifty years after the previous one was closed.

District Councillor Charlie Hotham put in a capital bid to Bromsgrove District Council for a “Tardis-type” toilet to be located in Millennium Park. It would cost around £50,000, plus £12,000 in installation costs.

Coun Hotham reported to Barnt Green colleagues that Bromsgrove’s cabinet had agreed to release £18,000 from its capital fund, suggesting that the remaining £44,000 could be covered by Section 106 money – which would “probably” be available to the village from the new Cala Homes development.

Coun Edwin Gumbley expressed concerns that the entirety of the 106 payout could be spent on one expensive toilet, pointing out that even some cities, such as Newcastle, no longer provide public toilets.

“The £50,000 figure is for a pod-type self-washing toilet, but I’m sure we could build a less expensive one in brick, which would be more in character with the village,” said Coun Gumbley.

He pointed out that the “dilapidated” remains of the old public toilet next to The Victoria Inn were still in existence, and could potentially be revamped – especially if it was still connected to the sewer system.

However, Coun Hotham said that a new toilet was a good way to ensure getting the 106 money: “If we don’t grab it, someone else will – and the toilet will benefit our village.”

A working party comprising Couns Hotham, Gumbley and Briggs was formed to take the matter forward.

Above: Immediately to the right of the gable-ended building is the bricked-up former entrance to the old toilet, built for use by workmen from the stockyard at what is now The Longlands and closed around 1967.

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