THE only public toilets in the centre of Hamworthy should be closed, councillors have unanimously agreed.

The block outside the Co-op in Blandford Road is the latest target of the council’s loo review to be replaced by a community toilet scheme.

“It’s not a surprise – but a lot of people will miss it,” said Ann Smeaton, chairman of Hamside Residents’ Association.

“They will have to keep the park toilets open now. Let’s think positive,” she added.

The new Co-op is currently under construction on part of the site and the council had discussions with them to provide a publicly accessible toilet within the new store.

However the smaller store being built to replace the shop burnt down in 2007 does not include toilets for customers.

Now Borough of Poole will attempt to sell the public toilet building to the Co-op group.

In his report to the council, Shaun Robson, head of environmental and consumer protection services, pointed out £50,000 of work was “desirable” and the building was in poor condition.

By closing it, approximately £10,000 a year could be saved.

“The current building is unattractive and represents an over-provision of facilities for demand in this area,” he said. “The ageing decor gives an impression of uncleanliness which will increase as time goes on.

“Development of this area could potentially provide an enhancement of the local centre which was identified in the core strategy for Poole as being in need of investment and improvement.”

Initial discussions with local businesses have shown five which might be interested in joining the council’s community toilet scheme, the furthest of which is 650m distant.

They are Hamworthy Library, Cornucopia, The Snack Box, Adam Practice surgery and the Red Lion.

Some have disabled access and baby changing facilities, however Mrs Smeaton pointed out that some of the community toilets, like the library, close at 5pm.