COUNCILLORS are being asked to decide what they want in a major new town centre development – an additional shop unit or public toilets.

The developers building a block of 62 flats and a large restaurant at Leyton Mount in Bournemouth were originally granted planning permission on condition the scheme included replacement public toilets.

But now they are asking planners to lift that condition, and allow them to replace the toilets with additional commercial floorspace.

Officers are recommending that the request is refused, after both the night-time economy co-ordinator and the town centre manager expressed concerns about the town’s lack of late-night toilet facilities.

It will now fall to councillors on the planning committee to consider the matter on Monday, January 20 and make a final decision.

The report by senior planning officer Charles Raven points out that the council is aiming to regenerate Horseshoe Common and use the area as a potential event space.

He said: “It is clear that the plans for the regeneration of the immediate area have the specific aim of increasing footfall and making it more inviting to tourists, families and the general public, with the aim of increasing useage of this public open space.

“It stands to reason, in the absence of any contrary evidence that increased recreational usage will result in increased demand for a public convenience.

“It is reasonable to conclude that for the common to be successful for families and visitors there should be the provision of a convenience facility.”