Sandown residents and business owners took to social media
over the bank holiday weekend to express their anger over the lack of public toilets in the popular holiday destination.
On Thursday last week, the Isle of Wight council announced that due to safety concerns, the planned reopening of the public toilets opposite Sandown Pier, would be delayed.
“The site is earmarked for a complete redevelopment under the Isle of Wight Council’s Eastern Bay Regeneration Plan, and whilst the project was being drawn up the toilets were intended to remain open for holiday periods this year.
“But when getting the toilets ready this Easter the council found there had been deterioration of the building over the winter, which means the facility cannot be opened safely.”
1km walk to toilets
As well as there being a reduction of public toilets on the seafront, one person working on the beach said that those using 100+ beach huts would have to walk 1km to use a toilet.
A 1km walk to a public toilet when spending the day on the beach is often impossible if you have children with you, or can’t leave your business unattended.
Cabinet member for regeneration and business development Cllr Wayne Whittle said:
“We are considering whether it will be possible to provide temporary toilets at peak times.”
Some residents have also pointed out that the possibility of temporary toilets is something that’s been raised before.
One resident said,
“The Council considered portaloos this time last year and the majority of the them voted against the idea. So now a whole year later we are having the same discussion. Beggars belief.”
Plan to redevelop the site
Cllr Wayne Whittle continued,
“We have identified Pier Street as a key part of our plans to revitalise the seafront at Sandown, and we will be publishing plans for a contemporary, low-rise building at Pier Street that will enhance the location, provide a better visitor experience, and respect the conservation area.
“It is disappointing that we will not be able to open the existing toilets this Easter, but I can confirm our intention is still to redevelop the site and reopen a more modern and appropriate feature, including a public convenience facility.”
Early closing of remaining loos
In addition to the reduction in public toilets for residents and visitors, some people took to social media to express their dismay at public toilets being closed at 5pm on a sunny bank holiday, when the beach was still very busy.
Image: © Class V