Concern at lack of winter toilets at popular beach near Happisburgh

Coast Watch member Louise Brooks, who is concerned about lack of winter toilets at Cart Gap, near th

Coast Watch member Louise Brooks, who is concerned about lack of winter toilets at Cart Gap, near the lookout station. She is pictured with mascot dog Clyde. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised about the lack of winter toilets along a stretch of north Norfolk coast.

The toilets at Cart Gap in Happisburgh, are managed by North Norfolk District Council and are closed from October to mid-March.

Louise Brooks, from Happisburgh Coast Watch team, said: 'We have members of the general public urinating and defecating in the dunes and on the beach.'

The area was busy with the newly-opened flagship coastal path, and visitors to the lifeboat station - soon to get a new sourvnir shop - and a cafe.

She said the Coast Watch team was also having to spend charitable donations on a portable toilet for volunteers.

The nearest other public toilets in the winter are in Beach Road, about a mile further down the coast at Happisburgh village itself. They are managed by Happisburgh Parish Council and open all year round.

Freezing problems and vandalism are the reason for the winter closure, says the district council.

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District council leader Tom FitzPatrick explained: 'The toilets at Cart Gap are not open during the winter due to previous history of vandalism and freezing weather damage which was resulting in significant maintenance and repair costs.'

He added that when Coast Watch were moving to Cart Gap they were told they would need to provide their own toilet facilities during the winter.

An offer had also been made to allow Coast Watch to tether any portable toilet to the council's toilet building so that it will not blow away.

The toilet concerns come as Happisburgh was named fourth most popular winter destination in the UK for 2014 by self-catering specialist cottages4you.

And the company said that based on booking so far, Happisburgh was likely to move up to third this year, topped only by Whitby and Windermere.

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