NEW TOILETS could be open on Bognor Regis seafront this summer.
The modern conveniences were backed by councillors on Wednesday. The decision enables Arun District Council to order the structure for the loos on the promenade.
They will replace the temporary toilets brought into use last summer after the closure of the underground toilets. A new beach office is also included in the proposals. Arun’s development control committee gave the go-ahead to the toilets – four months after its members deferred a decision because of protests which centred on the fact the toilets’ doors faced the flats on the opposite side of The Esplanade.
They have been moved to the south side of the block and three other minor changes have also been made to the earlier design.
Committee member Cllr Stephen Haymes (C, Yapton), who is also Arun’s cabinet member for technical services, said: “We have taken these issues on board with a new design and layout.
“The design will, in my opinion, fit nicely within a modern seafront environment.
“I hope I can look forward to them being in use for this forthcoming summer season.”
Cllr Sue Bence (C, Bersted) said: “I welcome this application coming back to this committee.
“We need to get on with this so we can have the toilets for this summer or, at least, heading towards autumn.”
But Cllr Jim Brooks (I, Marine) said: “We do need new toilets and we do need a new beach office. But it could have been better designed and more in keeping. It looks like a toll booth to me. We need to do more work on it, though I appreciate work has been done on it.”
Cllr Paul Wells (LD, Hotham) said: “I welcome the fact this design has come back to the committee.
“It was deferred last year because of concerns about some aspects of the planning application.”
“To some extent, I am unhappy with the design. Back in 1991, Arun wanted a Victorian scheme for Bognor Regis seafront. This particular application is deviating away from that. I’ve not seen any decision within the council to deviate away from that particular scheme.
“We have been told it will fit in with the designs for the new Regis Centre building but what are they?
“There is a little bit of the unknown in this and a lot of concerns for me as a ward councillor and as a member of this planning committee.”
Cllr Elaine Stainton (C, Felpham W) said: “How is the design going to fit in with the other buildings along the seafront? It looks a mismatch to me.
“There are Regency buildings and then we are going to have this development.
“It is going to look very odd. Are we going to change the rest of the buildings along the promenade?”
Eight letters of objection were received by Arun to the latest plans compared with 55 for the original scheme.
The other changes to the design are a screen in front of the urinal entrance, siting the buildings further north and two guard rails sited to the south either side of the entrances.