SHOPPERS and bus users in Chepstow will finally soon have the use of a public toilet close to the bus station following a long running campaign.
Chepstow Town Council has been granted planning permission by Monmouthshire council to turn an empty flat on Thomas Street, opposite the bus station, into a toilet.
The flat is part of a terrace facing onto the bus station, and will also provide a community meeting room and storage space for Chepstow foodbank.
A spokeswoman for Chepstow town council said it is hoped that work can start as soon as possible, once a contractor has been chosen and that an access ramp into the building must be approved by the county council’s highways department.
The town council has earmarked reserves of £26,500 towards the cost, while the county council has set aside £14,028.
Councillors looked at three options to lease a building to house the toilet which were; to use a shop unit on Thomas Street Arcade which has potential for waiting room facilities, The Rainbow Café which is currently closed or a vacant residential one-bedroom flat immediately opposite the bus station at 11, Thomas Street.
The chamber agreed the best option was to lease the flat, which it did so in January, for £4,740 a year and will carry out extensive alterations to turn it into a public loo that will open between 8am and 7.30pm.
Planning permission to install automatic toilets at the bus station for bus users was originally granted more than five years ago but was held up because of difficulties in acquiring the land next to the Co-operative Store.
The public toilet in nearby Bulwark was closed in 2011 as part of a review of 16 of the county’s toilets to save more than £180,000 a year.
A review was carried out by a working group amid concerns about the condition and cost of the toilets and resulted in the closure of six toilets in April after the town and community council’s chose not to adopt them.
The savings were used to upgrade its remaining toilets.