CONTINUALLY closed public toilets on Poole Quay are ‘totally unacceptable’ and should be resolved – councillors have been told.

One elected member has blamed BCP Council itself for the problem by not ensuring the agreement with a developer was easily enforceable.

The toilets, at Dolphin Quays, were provided for public use as part of the planning consent for redevelopment but have been closed for months, according to councillors.

The council’s overview and scrutiny committee was told that council officers have been negotiating to try and get the toilets opened but remained, according to a statement, “a work in progress.”

“These toilets are not owned by us, but provided by a private company through a previous planning obligation.

"We are in talks with this private company to re-open these toilets, which unfortunately, is taking longer than intended. We hope to resolve these issues soon,” said the statement.

Poole Town ward councillor Mark Howell: “It’s completely unacceptable…what we need to know is what is wrong, why we have an agreement which is not enforceable.”

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Mark HowellCllr Mark Howell

Cllr Howell described the planning department’s response to the problem as “wishy-washy".

“There must be a way that councillors can get to the truth here and understand what the real issue is,” he added.

Committee chairman Cllr Stephen Bartlett said he understood the problem had dragged on for months, possibly more than a year.

He said he feared that the question would, inevitably be asked again, with much the same answer received, and called for tougher measures to ensure enforcement issues were tackled quicker and to re-introduce performance management measures for the planning system to check that obligations were being followed.

Cllr Bartlett said he would write again to the head of planning, Mark Axford, to try and get more information about what the problems was and the loos opened.

A BCP Council spokesperson said: “We have been unable to secure the re-opening of the toilets located at Dolphin Quays on Poole Quay. These toilets aren’t owned by us, but are provided by a private company through a previous planning obligation.

“We are in talks with the private company to reopen these toilets which unfortunately is taking longer than intended.

“We hope to resolve any issues soon and once again open these toilets for everyone’s convenience.”