One of Brighton’s worst public toilet blocks to be rebuilt

One of the worst public toilets in Brighton and Hove could be in line for a revamp costing tens of thousands of pounds.

The dilapidated toilet block is being handed over to a heritage trust by Brighton and Hove City Council which owns the building.

The rebuilt block is expected to be a “Changing Places” toilet, including a height-adjustable changing bench, overhead track or mobile hoist, privacy screen and enough space for up to two carers.

And plans are being drawn up to rebuild the toilet block at the same time as the Royal Pavilion Gardens receive a makeover.

The decision to lease the toilet block to the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust was taken by the council’s Policy and Resources Committee at Hove Town Hall last night (Thursday 17 March).

A report to the committee said: “The public toilets in Prince’s Place have been closed since October 2022. The toilets are in a very poor condition and subject to high levels of anti-social behaviour.

“The orientation of the current building leads to anti-social behaviour as the entrance is not visible from places where people generally congregate.”

According to the report, there were plans to build a separate Changing Places toilet in the Pavilion Gardens but this would have taken up a “significant amount of green space”.

So instead the council is leasing the toilets on a 22-year lease – to end at the same time as the trust’s lease of the Royal Pavilion and its grounds.

Councillors were told that the new toilet block would be “reorientated” to make the entrance more visible to try to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime.

The trust applied for funding for the new building from the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the garden regeneration project.

Labour councillor Amanda Evans said that the proposals looked like a practical solution to the problems of accessibility, anti-social behaviour and the condition of the Prince’s Place toilets.

If the council was asked to pay towards the cost of the rebuild, the decision should be signed off by party leaders, she said.

The Royal Pavilion Gardens public toilets

Councillor Evans added: “We just want a little bit more oversight before we start giving away bits of the family silver as it were, albeit very tiny and smelly and not very attractive parts, nonetheless in the centre of town.

“We don’t know whether the lottery funding application will succeed or how much we might be asked to provide ourselves for the refurbishment or rebuilding.”

Fellow Labour councillor Carmen Appich said that she hoped that the lottery grant would come through and pay for the building and the “much-needed” Changing Places facilities.

The council has already fitted Changing Places toilets at three seafront sites – the Shelter Hall, Colonnade and Brighton Centre – with another due soon near the zip wire.

Green councillor Tom Druitt said that it was a “no-brainer” to lease the toilet block to the trust.

He said: “It would be ridiculous to take up extra green space in the beautiful gardens to put another toilet almost next to an existing toilet that’s closed. So this is the obvious thing to do.”

The committee unanimously backed the proposal, with the toilets due to reopen in early 2026.

Conservative group leader Steve Bell left the chamber for the discussion on the toilets because he represents the council on the board of the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust.

  1. Jess Reply

    So the Pavilions Cafe is to close then?
    Or are temporary toilets to be provided while works going on?
    Since people can’t be active without toilets, how come they are not just using active travel money to erect new toilets?

    • David Eve Reply

      Nothing to do with the cafe. There’s no toilets now so you’re unlikely to get temporary ones.I seem to remember that this block cost £69000 to build back in the 80’s,bet it’s a large multiple of that to rebuild.

  2. sd Reply

    I bet they will charge for the new facilities if they get the go ahead.

    • Simon B Reply

      ….. and what’s wrong with that? In the ‘old days’ there was always a charge to use public toilets, hence ‘spend a penny’

    • michael barry Reply


      • T F Bundy Reply


  3. kathryn spencer Reply

    “Diue to re-open in 2026”!!!
    That’s 3 years away.
    What about toilet facilities until then?

    • michael barry Reply


  4. Hendrik Reply

    How will they deal with antisocial behaviour once they are rebuilt? This is Brighton not Monte Carlo. Just a few yards away in New Road there is always a group of drunks, shouting, swearing and sometimes fighting.

  5. Billy Short Reply

    The headline here should read: Last city centre public toilets won’t reopen until 2026.

    Or: Council kick toilet issue down the road, by handing over their responsibility to the Museums Trust.

    Or: Museums Trust take over toilet block to be part of their plan to fence-in the Pavilion Gardens site.

    Or: Brighton residents and visitors yet again denied city centre public toilet facilities.
    These last remaining city centre toilets were closed in October 2022 and the latest council decision means they won’t reopen until 2026.
    Weirdly, all the councillors voted for this, thinking it acceptable.

    I’m not sure why the focus of this article is instead about baby changing and carer access – which is surely part of any modern public toilet facility?
    What we really want to know is where, after having a nice cup of tea on the lawns at the Pavilion, where can we go and have a pee?

  6. Patcham Guy Reply

    The Pavilion Gardens have got to be fenced in due to the idiots [polite word] we have in this town or who are attracted by it. It will be no use restoring them just to have them trashed again. The toilets would still be in use without them. The police should have a role here one would have thought, but as nothing seems to get done this is the only choice for the council. It is totally the fault of the general public, and for once the council, Green or otherwise cannot be blamed. Hopefully the Pavilion will have strict security so that decent people can enjoy it.

    • Billy Short Reply

      There’s actually very little trouble in the Pavilion Gardens right now – and the idea that there is is just a myth created by the trust to help them get the funding for the fence.
      Recorded ‘offences’ by the Pavilion’s own security guards include students riding bikes through the grounds, and people having a pee behind trees because the toilets are shut. Serious stuff.
      The actual crime figures recorded by the police are very low. I personally go there a lot on my evening photo walks and it always feels like a safe space.

      So the fence is going up for other reasons, including them being able to lock up the gardens at night so that they don’t have to empty the litter bins so often and so they need less security staff, and so that they can have pay-to-view concerts in the Pavilion Gardens. It’s all about money.

      In fencing it off, any trouble just moves elsewhere and tourists are no longer able to amble through the grounds or to see the Pavilion lit up at night, and locals walking home have to take a longer route.
      The new toilets, as welcome as they are, will face into the grounds and will only be open when the trust decides it wants them open.

      The ‘trouble’ mostly comes from drunks and drug takers gathering nearby, and it’s a further plan to remove all the seating from New Road. Once again, that cheap solution just shifts the trouble elsewhere.

      • Alan alan Reply

        Wow. Most educated post ever! Exactly what’s happening.

  7. Rostrum Reply

    No doubt it’ll cost a pound for a piss and a five for a s£?t.

  8. michael barry Reply


    • Alan alan Reply

      Hi Michael, your kinda right…think it’s more the case of using the poor and desperate to help their snide means!

  9. Bear Road resident Reply

    I was watching a TV program last night which featured the massive Isola Serafini dam on the river Po in Italy.
    It was completed from scratch in less than five years.
    Apparently in Brighton it takes three years to build a toilet block…Perhaps we should ask the Italians to build it for us…

  10. Mr Andrew Camper Reply

    I guess at the end of the day it comes down to the council being left without a pot to P in, and passed on to the residents to be in the same position. But you can bet that some Tory member will be winning that Trust contract to rebuild a perfectly usable toilet block. While somewhere someone will have no job as an attendant of the toilets because its subcontracted out. Result no one to stop antisocial behaviour.

  11. Nina Harez Reply

    ‘Changing Places’ misquote the Equality Act 2010 on their website.

    They say:

    “Equality legislation and treaties
    Equality Act 2010

    The Equality Act 2010 came into force in October 2010 and provides a single legal framework through which inequality and discrimination can be challenged. It brought together nine separate anti-discrimination laws which previously covered distinct areas of inequality. These are defined in the Equality Act 2010 as the ‘protected characteristics’
    of race, disability, gender, gender identity,
    religion and belief, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation and age. The Act replaced previous equality legislation including the Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2005 (DDA).”

    There is NO ‘gender’ listed under the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010. It is ‘SEX’ not ‘GENDER’ which is listed as one of the protected characteristics.

    If these toilets do not provide SINGLE SEX facilities, they are breaking the Equality Act 2010 and open to be sued.

    Women and girls need and deserve privacy, safety and dignity when using public toilets.

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