Search

A loo with a view at Sheringham

07:00 31 December 2010

The toilet block with sea views at Sheringham that could become a holiday home. Picture: Colin Finch

The toilet block with sea views at Sheringham that could become a holiday home. Picture: Colin Finch

Archant

A disused public toilet on a north Norfolk seafront is being offered for sale - and holds to key to providing new loos for tourists and passing walkers.

The two-storey building on Sheringham’s easte prom has stunning views of the sea that officials want to sell as a holiday home.

But the buyers, like the former users, will need to be a bit ”flush” - as the seaview ”des res” is estimated as being worth about £100,000.

The 100-year-old block’s future holds the key to upgrading facilities on Sheringham’s east promenade, with plans to ring-fence the sale proceeds to build a new block a pebble’s throw away.

Plans have generally been welcomed, but with some concerns aired by members of a lobby group concerned about the temporary toilets provided since the old block was shut in 2006.

Guest house owner Avril Duke-Millar said they were worried the old toilets would not reach the expected selling price, which would scupper the plans for the new block, that was needed to cater for tourists, beach hut owners and walkers all year round.

And Judith Miller, who runs the Sheringham Enhancement Group with her, said they wanted a £80-90,000 “reserve” price put on the building so it was not “given away” - and for the new block to have the flexibility to be scaled down if necessary.

The old toilets date back to about 1900, with later additions, but were shut in 2006 because they were unsuitable for modern day use.

They are among the more unusual seafront properties to come up for grabs, barring beach huts, which can command prices of tens of thousands of pounds in East Anglia’s more sought after resorts.

A report to North Norfolk District Council’s cabinet says £75,000 was needed to refurnish the block, and even then the location high above the prom needing steps or a steep slope meant it could not be compliant with disabled access legislation.

Councillors are being recommended to seek planning permission to convert the block to a holiday home, and sell it. Comparable properties had recently sold for £105,000 to £165,000, but with the £50,000 cost of conversion to residential knocked off it meant the valuation was £100,000. If those went through in the spring, building on the new block could start in the autumn, with completion by Christmas 2011.

The new block, design with alternate coloured doors for a beach hut look, features six unisex toilet cubicles, gents’ urinals, a disabled toilet, a baby change room, shower, and drinking fountain.

Mrs Miller said the old toilet block had “stunning views” and was a “wonderful business opportunity” for an investor, but urged scope for a smaller-scale plan if the old block sold at a reduced price.

A permanent new block was needed as the temporary toilets, opened at Easter and removed in October, were “totally unsuitable.” Cubicles were not big enough for a mother and child, and it was impossible to open the disabled toilet because it had a heavy fire door.

The report to be discussed by councillors on Monday January 10 however said there was “wide ranging support” for the scheme.

●People do queue up to buy former public toilets, whether they are just bog standard, or the prospect of a lucrative vacant plot.

True “convenience shopping” attracts property speculators and investors, as well as people looking for quirky bargains being sold by cash-strapped councils offloading assets, so normally without a chain.

Two years ago the property world was stunned when two-storey public convenience near Fulham Broadway in London was sold for £403,000 - four times the guide price - after it was flagged up as a great site for a club, school or cafe.

The previous year a one-storey loo in the Scottish golfing town of St Andrews sold for £195,000 - also more than four times the expected figure.

In 2008 a block in the run down Toxteth area of Liverpool was bought for £90,000 - a staggering nine times the asking price.

It was snapped up, after a fierce bidding war, by a Turkish businessman as a gift for his student daughter, who hoped to transform the block and surrounding land, already in the hands of her property-owning family, into 18 luxury apartments and eight shops.

Earlier a rather humbler block at West Country tourist village Boscastle was sold by Cornwall council for £5,000, which was at the bottom end of the £5,000-£15,000 guide price and despite auctioneers saying they hoped it would “create a good stream of interest.”

3 comments

  • I suppose if they gave it the excellent makeover that Sea Palling loos have had then it would cost a lot, but the loos at places like Mundesley are quite adequate. Beach side loos need only be basic and what a shame to lose such a handy site. A make over that made things worse, by the way, was to the ladies loos at West Runton, where a nice old seaside loo has been made cramped and so dark one needs night vision goggles.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Friday, December 31, 2010

  • How can a toilet be 'unsuitable for modern day use?' How come '£75,000 was needed to refurnish the block' but only’ £50,000’ to convert to residential use? Why wasn’t the toilet maintained on a regular basis? This toilet never has been’ compliant with disabled access legislation’, does this mean then that 90% of the population are being discriminated against? They were shut in 2006 - why it’s taken all this time to do something?

    Report this comment

    Jon

    Friday, December 31, 2010

  • I hear Tescos are interested.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Friday, December 31, 2010

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

22 minutes ago
Fern, the pet cocker spaniel of the D'Amery family from Ridlington, who was killed by a snare. Picture: SUBMITTED

A heartbroken family today warns other pet owners about the danger of snares after their beloved dog choked to death.

11:51
Stalham Grebe charity bike ride. Ready for the off. Picture; MAURICE GRAY

Charity bike riders have been pedalling away to help raise money for a children’s hospital.

10:14

A series of flood alerts has been issued for parts of the Norfolk coast.

06:00
Ceremony to mark the return of a First World War German mortar which stood outside the Post Office until about 1970 when it was given to the Strumpshaw Steam Museum. The village asked to borrow it back last year for WW1 centenary commemorations and was told it could keep it. They've raised £500 to have it sandblasted and painted. It now stands outside the village hall. Pictured are villagers who all helped to bring back the mortar to the village

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

For decades it stood as a village landmark revered by children and adults alike who regarded it very much as part of their community.

Most Read

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Simon Weal with one of the apple trees which he replanted after it was uprooted.

North Walsham has rallied to support the town’s “guerrilla gardener” after vandals destroyed a key piece of his work.

Read more
North Walsham High School
Yesterday, 23:35
Laurie Scott and artist Dianne Lindsay who painted the wheel sponsored by Breakers Cafe in Cromer. Mr Scott paid the top price of £300 to make sure it stays in Breakers which is run by his wife, Ema Scott Rowlands. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Dedicated bidders literally “splashed the cash” on Sunday, handing over more than £7,000 for decorated ships’ wheels in steady rain.

Read more
Friday, September 25, 2009
Cromer's new police station.

Cromer's new police station will not have a front counter to deal with public inquiries, it was revealed this week.

The news has sparked anger among town councillors who are demanding a reinstatement of the service, and asking Norfolk's top policeman to justify why it was dropped from plans.

Read more
10:14

A series of flood alerts has been issued for parts of the Norfolk coast.

Read more
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Artist Kieron Williamson, nine, in his studio at his home at Ludham getting ready for his forthcoming exhibition. Picture: Denise Bradley

The schoolboy tagged Mini Monet is set to return to the Holt gallery which launched his meteoric rise in the art world.

Read more

Most Commented

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Cromer bus crash

A Sanders bus was left with shattered windows after it passed a van along Church Street in Cromer this morning.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 14°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Norfolk News e-edition today E-edition