At your convenience

PUBLISHED: 12:14 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 06 May 2010

The Bancroft toilets

The Bancroft toilets

PUBLIC conveniences will not be dumped on an historic town centre after councillors rejected plans to move toilet facilities. Residents had been furious about North Herts District Council s proposals to relocate toilets from The Arcade and Portmill Lane i

The loos in the Arcade

PUBLIC conveniences will not be dumped on an historic town centre after councillors rejected plans to move toilet facilities.

Residents had been furious about North Herts District Council's proposals to relocate toilets from The Arcade and Portmill Lane in Hitchin to the Market Place and Moss's Corner.

They said the toilets would ruin the character of the historical conservation area.

And last week, after consulting with local councillors, NHDC'S cabinet voted for another option in the proposals, which will see Market Place and Moss's Corner remain a loo-free zone.

Instead they have opted to give facilities in The Arcade a major overhaul.

Cllr Linda Needham, cabinet portfolio holder for waste and environment, said that she was one of the councillors not happy with the proposals.

"I expressed my concerns that the consultants had opted for historically quite important sites.

"We worked out that with the money we would not spend on the two new sites we could do a total redevelopment of the ones in The Arcade," she said.

The Portmill Lane facilities will still be closed as they do not meet disability legislation.

The redevelopment of the Arcade toilets could see male, female and disabled cubicles all on one level instead of the steps currently in place, and doors which lead out to the alley for security reasons.

Elsewhere in the district, the council is planning to close the public toilets in The Arena in Letchworth GC and to make alterations to the existing building in Howard Park.

In Baldock, they are proposing to close facilities at the Town Hall and build a new block on High Street.

The total cost for the work should be should be less than the estimated £674,500 but NHDC is not sure of the final figure.

All of the plans will now go to the council's area committees for comments.

Once the proposals come back to the cabinet, it is hoped that work will start this autumn.

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