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Friday, 28 November 2014

Millom toilet owner caught short by tax bill

THE new owner of a former public toilet block has hit out after being hit with a non-domestic rates bill from the council.

Russell Townsend, owner of the Bridge Café, in Millom, bought the Lancashire Road toilet block from Copeland Borough Council last month.

But three days after picking up the keys on October 24, Mr Townsend had to rip out most of the toilets, after receiving the bill.

He said he smashed up the loos so that it could no longer be classed as a business and subject to the rates.

Mr Townsend said: “It took more than a year to buy the toilet block off the council, but only a fortnight to get the first bill through.

“At the moment all we’re doing is emptying them out, so there will be two empty shells left behind.”

Mr Townsend, who refused to reveal how much he had paid for the toilet block, is now looking to apply for planning permission to have the units converted for commercial use.

He said: “The council was planning to knock the toilets down so I saw this as an opportunity.

“Until someone comes in with an offer on it, I’m applying for planning permission to make it in to two business premises.

“The disabled toilet will stay as it is. I would have liked to have kept it as a toilet block. But the council wanted rid of it so you’ve got to make the most of the opportunity. The building was going to be knocked down if it wasn’t sold.”

After clearing the toilet block, Mr Townsend will place the building back on the market, with an asking price of £30,000.

He said: “I’m looking for someone to come along and buy it off me now. The buildings will be for sale or rent and would make ideal shops or offices, as they are in a prime location in Millom.

“The local supermarket was approached but didn’t show any interest in the site.”

The Lancashire Road toilets were closed in April 2011 when Millom Town Council handed the lease back to Copeland Borough Council, after they were deemed too expensive to keep in operation.

Have your say

A big PAT on the back for Silver Back Developments. I think Eddie has done his part aswell. I hope Mr Townsend has success with this venture.

Posted by Tick Tack Tony on 24 November 2012 at 00:05

HEHE! love the evening mail. love the pic, shame another toilet has gone!! very useful for tourism and tescos. But heyo ho what del boy want del boy getS!!!!

Posted by tree hugger on 22 November 2012 at 15:32

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