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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

MEA Council look set to close more public toilets in borough after meeting behind closed doors

Public toilets in Larne

Larne looks set to lose a public toilet block in the town centre after a review of public conveniences.

Mid and East Antrim councillors were asked to note “the previously agreed closure of Narrow Gauge toilets” at a behind closed doors meeting of the borough council’s Economy and Environment Committee last month.

The toilet block is located at Narrow Gauge Road opposite Murrayfield shopping arcade. If the proposal goes ahead, the closure will leave just one remaining public toilet block in the town centre at Agnew Street.

The adjoining former tourist information centre at Narrow Gauge Road, which was said by the council  to have been “under-used and too costly”, closed in 2018. It was placed on the market for £100,000 in 2020 and is now occupied.

In August, the borough council extended car parking charges to the adjacent Circular Road East Car Park and Exchange Road Car Park also in the town centre.

The decision follows recommendation for a series of environmental improvements in the vicinity between the Harbour Highway underpass and town centre.

A pedestrian crossing at Bridge Street and an improved path connection at Inver River have also been mooted as part of the Larne Town Centre Investment Plan and Strategy.

Former Larne mayors Andy Wilson, who was an Ulster Unionist councillor and Roy Craig, then an Independent, have urged Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to “get back to basics”.

In an open letter to the local authority, they said:

“As a start in regaining public confidence, the car parking charges in Exchange Road and Circular Road need to be scrapped and a focused plan of action for town centre regeneration embarked upon.”

Councillors have also agreed to the closure of Portmuck and Ballylumford toilets during the winter months but provision is expected to be made for open water swimmers.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council did not wish to comment on the planned closure of Narrow Gauge Road toilets.


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