RESIDENTS and businesses are celebrating the prospect of a town centre “eyesore” being improved.
The toilets on Poole Hill in Bournemouth have been blamed for attracting drug users and drinkers but the building could now be converted into a café, restaurant or retail space.
The building has been put out to tender by the council and Norman Decent, co-ordinator of Poole Hill Neighbourhood Watch, said it is something his group has been campaigning for.
He said: “It’s good news because they’ve been the base for drug users and the homeless park themselves there during the day.
“At long last we’ve got to this stage and we’ve been campaigning to get rid of it.”
Norman is hoping the area can be improved both for residents and to make it look better for tourists walking into town from the West Cliff.
And he is hoping putting it out to tender will make it more realistic that work will start quickly as the toilets are still open.
The building is being advertised for let by estate agents Goadsby, with any potential redevelopment subject to planning.
Bidders have until Thursday, September 20 to submit their offers and Mark Berry, manager at The Winchester pub and entertainment venue nearby, said a change there could be a catalyst for change.
He said: “They are a drain on the area and an eyesore.
“But that’s such a nice sunny spot all day long.
“There are a lot of empty shops so if they change that spot it’s going to be blossoming, especially on top of the development of the Triangle and the popularity of Flirt café there.”
In deciding the winning bid the council will look at the price, the proposed use and the track record of the proposed tenant as well as the bid’s long-term commercial viability.
Larry Austin, Bournemouth council’s strategic operations manager, said: “This is in response to concerns raised by local residents about anti-social behaviour problems centred on this facility and the immediate surrounding area.
“The automated public convenience that is housed within the building will be relocated to the travel interchange at the Lansdowne.”
FIRST WATCH MEETING A SUCCESS
THE first meeting of the new Poole Hill Neighbourhood Watch group was heralded as a success by co-ordinator Norman Decent.
Norman said the neighbourhood watch team were pleased with the turnout of people visiting the library to voice their concerns.
It was also attended by fellow neighbourhood watch team members Michael and Christine Doherty as well as David d’Orton-Gibson, councillor Rae Stollard and PC Stuart Greenwood and Norman is now planning to hold weekly surgeries at the library on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm, starting in September.
To help improve the area it is hoped that the group will be able to arrange hanging baskets along Poole Hill next summer and have also received a £250 cash boost.
Their next Neighbourhood Watch meeting is on Tuesday, September 11 at 6pm in the Library at The Triangle or visit the surgeries.