Former public toilets could become 'healthy food cafe'

The Melbourne Slope toilets on Cromer promenade

North Norfolk District Council has made the former Melbourne Slope toilets on Cromer promenade available for lease. - Credit: North Norfolk District Council

An old public toilet block in Cromer could become a "health food cafe" if councillors follow recommendations to allow business negotiations to begin.

The former Melbourne Slope public toilets on Cromer promenade were closed in 2017, when they were replaced by new facilities in the town.

Since they were closed the building has stood empty.

But earlier this year, North Norfolk District Council, which owns the site, made the former toilet block and its "iconic archways" available for lease and advertised the 865sq ft brick building as available for commercial uses.

The building currently creates no income for NNDC and was put on the market with the expectation that any tenant would invest in the structure, which "has been deteriorating for many years", in return for a 20-year lease period over which time they would be responsible for the block's renovation.

The council said it received "a good level of interest from existing businesses in Cromer and prospective new businesses from the wider area" and six formal expressions of interest were submitted to NNDC.

Now, all the proposals are in and councillors are due to discuss the bids and whether to allow negotiations between any of the businesses and the council's estates team to begin at its next cabinet meeting on Monday, July 5.

Among the bids for the building are proposals to turn it into a "healthy food cafe". No other details of the prospective bids have been disclosed.

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Councillors are being recommended to open negotiations "with the preferred party for the healthy food café option" which would "add to the range of offerings on the promenade and chime with the current and most likely enduring demand for a more local and healthy food and beverage".

The council is being advised "to encourage new investment in the promenade" from a business that can "provide something different" while also complimenting what is already on offer in the area.

It is being advised that the "health food café option" is the operation that would "least impact on existing businesses in this location."

Councillors are due to discuss the future of the Melbourne Slope toilet blocks at a cabinet meeting on Monday, July 5.