Date issued: 1 February 2019
Colchester Borough Council’s Planning Committee has approved plans for a programme of refurbishment work to the public toilets in Colchester Castle Park.
The first phase of the project, commencing on Monday 4 February, will see the existing public toilets at the café close. During the period of closure, the nearest public toilets will be at Hollytrees Museum.
Refurbishment work at the café building will include a new Changing Places facility, made possible thanks to £40,000 from Essex County Council and funding from the Short Breaks for Disabled Children and Young People’s Changing Places capital funding project.
Changing Places are fully accessible toilet and shower facilities. They differ from standard accessible toilets, because they offer more space, specialist equipment and an adult-sized height-adjustable changing bench and hoist. These facilities enable children and adults with profound and multiple disabilities to get out and about and enjoy the same activities that others would take for granted.
Access for this facility will be by a unique key. Once the new facility is open, in March 2019, applications for a key will need to be made via the Colchester Borough Council website.
Cllr Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “I’m delighted to be able to support the construction of another Changing Places facility in Essex, which brings the total to 35 across the whole county.
“Changing Places open a new world of possibilities for people living and visiting different areas of Essex and mean children, young people and adults with disabilities are able to enjoy the same opportunities and activities as their peers. I’m pleased to be working in partnership with borough council colleagues to make this happen.”
Work will also take place to develop a new public toilet block beneath the café adjacent to the playground. This new toilet block will include male and female toilets, as well as disabled and baby change facilities, with a wheelchair ramp and improved steps for access. This phase of the project is due for completion in May 2019.
The toilets in Lower Castle Park will also be refurbished, with a new disabled and baby change facility included. This work is due to begin in late April 2019 and will be completed by June 2019.
These works are being funded with £171,000 of Colchester Borough Council’s New Homes Bonus grant.
Cllr Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “Our Castle Park is a much-loved attraction and continues to set an incredibly high standard with its awards and accolades.
“We want to make sure that the facilities are the very best they can be and that we can continue to attract people to enjoy the park’s beautiful surroundings with the very best amenities on offer.”