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Relief as Lymington quay toilets set to reopen this month

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RESIDENTS have expressed relief at the impending reopening of the public toilets at Lymington Town Quay after two months of delays.

New Forest District Council said the conveniences at the popular visitor hotspot are hoped to open later this month after being held up by a “supply issue”.

The facilities have been fenced off since early 2022, with alternative portaloos in place.

Lymington quay toliets have been fenced off since January
Lymington quay toliets have been fenced off since January

A shop worker at the quay, who asked not to be named, questioned why the NFDC refurbishment was taking so long.

She said: “The plan was to have them open by Easter, then it was 30th April and then 31st May – now we are stretching into June, a time of year when the quay is always very busy.

“Quite frankly, it’s a bit embarrassing for the town because people often head to the quay after travelling here, and after a journey the first thing many visitors will want to do is use the public conveniences.

“I know that people have arrived on yachts and been very unimpressed with the temporary toilets – I think lots of people have opted to go for a drink in the Ship so that they can use their facilities instead.

“We have people coming in and asking to use our toilets every day.”

A spokesperson for NFDC confirmed the facilities are expected to reopen fully by the end of June.

She added: “There is an external supply issue which is holding up the toilets’ refurbishment. The toilets will open as soon as the supplies arrive and are fitted, which we hope will happen within the next two weeks.

“Temporary facilities will remain on site until the toilet block is open.”

As reported in the A&T, NFDC originally drew up plans for a £1.2m revamp that would have replaced the conveniences with a timber-clad building containing new toilets and showers, a café or wine bar, and a roof terrace.

However, widespread criticism of the “wartime bunker” design and a “significant” rise in anticipated construction costs led the authority to shelve its plan in July 2021.

NFDC instead opted for a basic interior refurbishment of the existing shower and toilet facilities to tidy them up in time for this summer.

However, many have criticised the slow progress on the project with shopkeepers reporting “daily complaints” from disgruntled residents and visitors.

The shower block part of the building, which is leased to Lymington Harbour Commissioners, has now reopened.

Lymington harbour master Ryan Willegers said the project stalled after “structural issues” were discovered.

He added: “The project did overrun but everyone has been delighted with our new facilities. Work has been completed to a very high standard.

“The showers are so much better than what we had before and in the long term this is definitely a positive for visitors to the town.”

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