[W]ork has started on converting a toilet block in Maryport into much needed housing.
The block, which is owned by Allerdale Borough Council, is on High Street in the town and the Council is converting it into two one-bedroom homes which are ideal for single people. The development includes demolishing the rear extension of the property and to provide outside space, whilst refurbishing the rest of the building.
The decision to convert the block was taken after a 2014 review of toilet provision showed it to be little used and prone to anti-social behaviour and vandalism. The Council’s Housing Strategy also showed the town is in need of one-bedroom properties such as these. The Council will retain ownership of the building, but will partner with a local housing association to manage these homes at affordable rents.
It is hoped the new houses will be open in the spring.
Carni McCarron-Holmes, Executive Member for Housing and Health, said: “It is great to see this project happening. We committed in our Council Plan to do what we can to provide people with affordable housing for our residents. This is a really innovative scheme which will go some way to achieve this – as well as help improve the environment in this area. I’m really looking forward to seeing them open and the first tenants move in.”
Residents and visitors to the town will not go without a public toilet, as the Council will continue to keep the facility situated at Irish Street open.
This is not the first time a toilet block has been used to provide affordable homes. In 2015 the Council transferred a disused block in Keswick to Keswick Community Housing Trust which was converted into four affordable homes.