The closure of public toilets on Bognor Regis’ seafront has been branded a ‘disaster’ and a ‘catastrophe’ by one Lib Dem councillor.
The facilities opened last October but Arun District Council shut them in January after a number of defects were discovered with the new structure.
Francis Oppler (Lib Dem, Orchard) said warnings had been made that the new toilets were in the wrong place and questioned the number of cubicles provided.
He described the situation as a ‘disaster’ and a ‘catastrophe’ at an Arun council meting on Wednesday night.
He said: “I can’t accept the sloping shoulders of those who are blaming everybody else other than themselves.
“It’s about time Arun District Council listened to local people.”
Stephen Haymes, cabinet member for technical services, described how the planning application for the toilets had been approved by the council’s development control committee.
He explained how the council was in dispute with the contractor Healthmatic over the defects.
An independent report into the state of the toilets has been commissioned and is due to be completed by the end of April.
Mr Haymes said they were exploring the provision of temporary toilets on the promenade to minimise the inconvenience to the public and visitors.
Paul Wells (LDem, Hotham) said: “I’m pleased to hear from the cabinet member temporary toilets will be installed.
“Can I ask to save embarrassment that they are installed before the Easter period so there are facilities along the seafront when visitors start to arrive?
“It’s a terrible shame we have ended up in this situation but I understand the council’s approach, but it’s essential we get a temporary solution in place.”
Phil Hitchins (Con, Aldwick West), who chairs the Bognor Regis regeneration sub-committee, said the location had been chosen for the toilets because of where the sewage system is.
He said: “You couldn’t shut the promenade for a whole year to move them [the sewage systems]. I do not think anyone wants that at all.”