Plans to transform empty toilet block

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Bourne has been delivered an early Christmas present in the form of new public toilets after plans were revealed to transform the closed block in South Street.

South Kesteven District Council’s property team has submitted a planning application to transform the current public toilet block in South Street, Bourne, to accommodate new 24-hour paying toilets, a retail unit and three flats.

The district council’s cabinet member for communities Nick Neilson (Con) said: “We are looking at all possibilities for this site. When we have a clearer picture of just what is possible we will make the decision as to whether to develop this site ourselves or put it to the market for an external developer to take forward.

“It’s important to look at opportunities for all the sites that we own to see how to get the most from them for our communities.”

He added that although there was no obligation on the district council to provide public toilets, if the scheme could do that it would prove “good for the town centre”.

The application states that it was thought the site could be developed into a two-storey building in place of the current block “without adversely affecting the character of the area”.

There would be a retail unit on the ground floor with public toilet provision and three flats above.

The application adds: “We consider that the proposals are an acceptable level of development on a site that currently adds little to the Bourne Conservation 
Area.

“We feel that the design is reflective of a sympathetic approach in a historic setting; it is respectful in scale and detailing, mindful of its surroundings, and we feel it would not look out of place in a few years once weathered in, in its position on the ‘enclosed approach’ to the historic market place of Bourne.”

The toilet block in South Street closed when new public toilets opened at the Community Access Point in Bourne in March 2013 - which is owned and run by the district council, but is also used by Bourne Town Council and for Lincolnshire County Council’s services, including the library. Bourne Town Council is responsible for those public toilets.

The plans will be considered by the district council’s development management committee. It is not yet known when the plans will be discussed.