Connect with us

News

Council changes place for Changing Places loos for Fenland town

Demolition of the old town centre loos is complete and temporary toilets are in use

Avatar photo

Published

on

Fenland District Council has decided to use part of a £240,000 Government grant to install changing place toilets at the George Campbell leisure centre and not to include them in a new town centre block it is planning as part of a wider regeneration scheme.

Only last year the council stated that “it is recognised that for many residents, particularly older people and those with restricted mobility, the provision of well-designed and maintained public toilets are essential.

“As part of the March Future High Streets Fund work, the existing toilet block will be demolished and a new, fit-for-purpose toilet facility will be provided at the western end of Grays Lane.

“This new facility will include two accessible toilets and a new state-of-the-art Changing Places toilet”.

Advertisements
Pictures
Advertisement

Their statement added: “The Changing Places facility, which will be made possible thanks to funding from the Government’s Changing Places Fund, will provide a safe environment for people with severe disabilities who need specialised facilities when they are out and about.”

Out with the old: The former public loo in March town centre

Out with the old: The former public loo in March town centre

But anyone in need of them will now have to make their way to the George Campbell leisure centre.

Meanwhile demolition of the old town centre loos is complete and temporary toilets are in use pending construction of a new ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’ block.

Advertisement

Cllr Jan French, deputy leader of the council, said the planning application for the new toilet block in Grays Lane “is ongoing” and the council “is keeping as much as they can save” from the old block.

These include, she said, arches and reusing roof tiles. She said information on new facilities for disability and changing places “new state of the art facilities” will be in the leisure centre.

She reminded residents that district councils do not have a statutory duty to provide public loos. Fenland Council decided to retain one public loo in each Fenland town some 15 years ago but there was doubt at one time if the regeneration scheme would include any for March.

“The new toilets for March were fought for by me and Cllr Steve Count,” she said.

Advertisement

Out with the old: The former public loo in March town centre

Out with the old: The former public loo in March town centre

Fenland Council says it proposes to build “a new standalone toilet block, consisting of one disabled toilet, separate male and female toilets, and a plant room” in Grays Lane, March.

The council’s design statement, published last week as part of a planning application, says both the male and female toilets include baby change units, and all of the doors open outwards for ease of access.

“All rooms are of a generous size, allowing the public to use the facilities without restriction,” says the statement.

Advertisement
In with the new: 3D images of the new toilet block planned for Grays Lane, March

In with the new: 3D images of the new toilet block planned for Grays Lane, March

“The two central toilets, male and female, are larger as they form the gable protruding from the main building. This gives interest and character to the building externally and is a nod to the former toilet block that has now been demolished.

“The proposal originally included a changing place facility; however, this has now been installed in the leisure centre nearby.

“Externally, the building will be red brick to match the existing adjacent wall, with reclaimed tiles on the roof similar to those on the former existing toilet block located further down Grays Lane at the junction with Broad Street.

Advertisement

“There will be a brick plinth in a darker red brick, and a matching brick banding around the centre of building. Above the two doors that sit within the gable, there will be stone arched lintols inscribed with the words ‘Ladies’ and ‘Gentlemen’.

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

“This has been inspired by the existing ‘Gentlemen’ archway above the door of the former toilet block.

Latest update on work to regenerate March Broad Street. The £9.6m project is being funded by the government’s Future High Streets Fund and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. PHOTO: Gary Richmond

Latest update on work to regenerate March Broad Street. The £9.6m project is being funded by the government’s Future High Streets Fund and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. PHOTO: Gary Richmond

“This new toilet block will be situated along Grays Lane adjacent to the River Nene on a currently vacant site. The former toilet block has now been demolished as it was no longer fit for purpose.

Advertisement

“Some of the notable features on the former toilet block have been designed into the new building, such as the pitched gable wall, roof turret, and stone arched lintols above doorways inscribed with the words ‘Ladies’ and ‘Gentlemen’.”

Cambridgeshire police, commenting on the application, noted that the toilet block will continue to be managed by March Town Council.

It has asked for confirmation that the toilets will be locked in the evenings “to prevent unauthorised use of the facility.

“Consideration should be given to the use of a monitored CCTV system (if not already covered) on the outside or opposite the building, this will help to reduce criminal activity.”

Advertisement

Not all residents are happy that the changing places toilets will not be incorporated into the new loos.

“There are many wheelchair bound children and adults in March but the only changing places toilet is in Tesco at Hostmoor Avenue – most of the time there isn’t actually enough room for the wheelchair and a carer too,” she said.

Fenland is putting its second changing place toilets into the new pavilion at Wisbech Park.

A council spokesperson said the pavilion includes “improved public toilet facilities and a state-of-the-art accessible Changing Places toilet, which is designed to support the needs of all people with disabilities”.

Advertisement

Fenland Council says it began collaborating with engineers to design the new toilet facility for March town centre 13 month ago.

CHANGING PLACES FACT FILE

Changing Places offer more than standard accessible toilets, providing more space and necessary equipment. Standard disabled toilets are designed to meet the needs of disabled people who can use a toilet independently and cannot accommodate large wheelchairs and carers. It is estimated that more than 250,000 people need these facilities to be able to get out and about.

Changing Places toilets are larger than standard accessible toilets and provide equipment such as hoists, privacy screens, adult-sized changing benches and peninsular toilets, as well as space for carers.

Advertisement

Little Miracles of Peterborough credited for £120,000 specialist loo at IWM Duxford

Changing Places facilities are intended for people with complex disabilities who require hoisting from their wheelchair onto the toilet and providing support once on the toilet and those who are incontinent and who require hoisting from their wheelchair onto a height adjustable adult sized changing bench to have their continence pads changed.

They are also designed for those who are not wheelchair users but whose other complex needs are not met in current public toilet provision including disabled children and adults who have balance or health/size issues, or severe autism or challenging behaviours. They are also designed to enable family or professional carers to use the toilet with dignity whilst keeping the wheelchair user safe.

Advertisement

FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL Planning Application Documents

F/YR24/0115/FDC | Erect a single storey toilet block | Land South West Of 2 Broad Street March Cambridgeshire

 

Facebook

Read More

Police briefing ahead of arrests Police briefing ahead of arrests
News11 hours ago

Cambridge: Children arrested for robbery, theft, harassment, threats to kill and knife crime

Arrests made in Abbey ward and Cherry Hinton

Cllr Shepherd and Chief Supt Paul French Cllr Shepherd and Chief Supt Paul French
News11 hours ago

OPINION: Cyclists get a ‘wake up’ reminder – could it happen in Cambridgeshire?

Tannoy system piloted by NE Lincolnshire Council

CA-business-award-student-winners-with-Michael-Bates-Derrick-Holmes-Brian-Kett-and-Peter-Dennis-of-Wisbech-BPMC CA-business-award-student-winners-with-Michael-Bates-Derrick-Holmes-Brian-Kett-and-Peter-Dennis-of-Wisbech-BPMC
News12 hours ago

End of year achievements celebrated at Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech

Awards presented across all departments of the academy

(left) Imogen Grant, former student at Stephen Perse Cambridge and lightweight world champion rower and (right) Bethany Shriever, former teaching assistant at Dame Bradbury’s Junior School and BMX gold medallist. Photo credit: Stephen Perse Cambridge (left) Imogen Grant, former student at Stephen Perse Cambridge and lightweight world champion rower and (right) Bethany Shriever, former teaching assistant at Dame Bradbury’s Junior School and BMX gold medallist. Photo credit: Stephen Perse Cambridge
News12 hours ago

Stephen Perse Cambridge schools cheer on their Olympic hopefuls

'Great role models who continue to inspire our students'

Horsefair car park. Town Centre, Wisbech Tuesday 23 July 2024. Picture by Terry Harris Horsefair car park. Town Centre, Wisbech Tuesday 23 July 2024. Picture by Terry Harris
News18 hours ago

Horsefair Wisbech 35,000 sq ft discount store and new car park ‘will boost footfall’

NewRiver offer massive vote of confidence in Wisbech

Trio of Cambs Lib Dem MPs (from left) Ian Sollom, the new MP for St Neots & Mid Cambridgeshire, MP for South Cambridgeshire, Pippa Heylings and Charlotte Cane, MP for Ely & East Cambridgeshire Trio of Cambs Lib Dem MPs (from left) Ian Sollom, the new MP for St Neots & Mid Cambridgeshire, MP for South Cambridgeshire, Pippa Heylings and Charlotte Cane, MP for Ely & East Cambridgeshire
News21 hours ago

Cambridgeshire MPs vote for action on sewage dumping, cost of living and NHS in King’s Speech

Cambridgeshire Lib Dem MPs challenge on key issues

Dr Nick Valley – part of his ‘memory bank’ of photographs from a long and distinguished career, many of them spent serving the people of March, Cambridgeshire Dr Nick Valley – part of his ‘memory bank’ of photographs from a long and distinguished career, many of them spent serving the people of March, Cambridgeshire
News21 hours ago

‘Thank you all from bottom of my heart for all your loyalty and support and I will not forget you’

I have tried my best to follow Elaine Stutard's legacy

Five Dances, choreographed by Arielle Smith, is a modern ballet with a large cast of men and women dressed identically Five Dances, choreographed by Arielle Smith, is a modern ballet with a large cast of men and women dressed identically
News22 hours ago

London City Ballet ‘fast, vibrant, inspiring’ at Cambridge Arts Theatre

Classical and contemporary ballet with the freshest possible edge

24 complaints made about Peterborough City councillors since February. PHOTO: Terry Harris 24 complaints made about Peterborough City councillors since February. PHOTO: Terry Harris
News1 day ago

24 conduct complaints made about Peterborough city councillors in just 6 months

One complaint relates to postal vote handling

Workers at Asda Wisbech are angry over a litany of issues Workers at Asda Wisbech are angry over a litany of issues
News1 day ago

Asda workers at Wisbech strike over ‘cuts in hours, bullying management and poor training’

Asda rejects the claims made by the union