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.
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.