Welsh town council claims plans for public toilets were an error

Welsh town will NOT build public toilets that spray users with water if they start having sex and officials blame over-enthusiastic architect for the idea

  • Plans for public toilet in Porthcawl’s Griffin Park, Wales, were an ‘honest mistake’
  • Design and access statement submitted to Bridgend County Borough Council 
  • Architect submitted one of their design ideas without consulting councillors 

An over-zealous architect is to blame for false plans to build public toilets with water jets, alarms and weight-sensitive floors, a councillor has revealed.

Plans for a new set of public toilets in Porthcawl’s Griffin Park, Wales, suggested the building would have a futuristic design featuring deterrents for sexual activity.

A design and access statement submitted to Bridgend County Borough Council included water jets, set cubical use time to deter rough sleeping, and graffiti-resistant walls and floors.

The build was expected to cost £170,000. 

Plans for new public toilets in Porthcawl’s Griffin Park, Wales, suggested the building would have a futuristic design featuring deterrents for sexual activity (pictured: A design similar to what the futuristic loos were expected to look like)

The weight-sensitive floors would ensure only one user could be in a cubicle at a time, to safeguard against ‘inappropriate sexual activity and vandalism’. 

But Porthcawl Town Council has since said the plans were ‘misinterpreted’ and the toilets will actually be ‘of traditional construction’. 

Independent Councillor Mike Clarke told MailOnline: ‘The town council commissioned an architect to design the toilets and put in an application for planning permission. 

‘He had to put in the design and access statement and without our knowledge added one of his ideas for the design.’

The town council have now confirmed the design and access statement is incorrect. 

In a statement it said: ‘We are aware that a number of security features have been listed in the design and access statement as part of the planning application. 

Unfortunately, the town council’s enthusiasm and intentions have been misinterpreted.’

All toilets would be fitted with a full high pressure floor and wall washer which could be operated either after every user, or after a certain number of users per day (Pictured: The false plans for the futuristic toilets)

Luckily for the architect he will still be designing toilets of ‘traditional construction’ after the councillors admitted it was ‘an honest mistake’.

Mr Clarke added: ‘The architect hasn’t been fired. It was an honest mistake. It has caused a lot of interest but that’s what happened. 

‘If he had come back to us with those ideas and we had seen them they wouldn’t have been implemented. 

‘There’s never been a plan for unisex toilets, or floor sensors, or sprays or doors that burst open.’

And the seaside town does not suffer from a homeless problem so there is no need to design toilets to put people off sleeping in them, according to Mr Clarke.

‘I did have an email from someone from California saying they solved their problem by making their toilets so filthy people wouldn’t choose to sleep there, but Porthcrawl doesn’t have a rough sleeping problem,’ he added.

Luckily for the architect he will still be designing toilets of ‘traditional construction’ after the councillors admitted it was ‘an honest mistake’  (pictured: The existing toilets)

Within the original plans the toilets would close each night for ten minutes while the unit undertook a deep clean process.

Visitors to Porthcawl would have had to pay to use the toilets, however, it was not known how much they would cost. 

And Twitter users questioned how the systems, in particular the weight sensitive floors, would work in practice.

One said: ‘Weight sensitive floors to detect more than one user? What baseline weight are they using? I’m easily the weight of two teenagers, and what about people who need assistance? I have to go in with my kids.’

Another added: ‘There are obvious serious questions about weight sensors, with potential for cruel humiliation of facility users.’

The design and access statement has now been amended to reflect the council’s plans and the existing facilities are due to close in October while demolition and construction of the new building takes place. 

The council says the new facilities will be completed by spring 2020. 

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