EIGHT years after they were shut, plans to re-open a town centre’s public toilets have officially been revealed.

The re-opening of Shipley’s Market Square toilets has been in the pipeline for several years, to be funded from the £25m Towns Fund cash awarded to Shipley by Government to regenerate the town centre.

The project is expected to cost £225,000, and Shipley Town Council will operate the toilets.

Now a new planning application reveals more about the proposed new public facilities.

Bradford Council announced it planned to close Shipley’s toilets in 2013 – part of plans to slash £89m from its budget after Government austerity cuts.

The announcement was met with a huge amount of opposition, including from traders in the town’s market.

The toilets, which then cost visitors 20p a visit, were shut in 2015.

The original toilets included a male and female block, but the female block has since been sold and converted into two retail units.

The new application is for the remaining block, and would see the creation of three new toilet cubicles. All thee would be unisex, and one would be wheelchair accessible.

The plans say the toilet doors will open “via coin and card access.”

The rest of the original building would be used as storage space for the Town Council.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A view across Shipley town centreA view across Shipley town centre (Image: Alan Martin Biggins: T&A Camera Club)

The application is also for an extension to the building, which will be used as storage space for market traders.

The application says: “The proposals will contribute to the local economy and support local businesses in the Market Square, as there are no public WCs available nearby at present.

“The works will enable the public WCs to be recommissioned and available to all.

“The work will enable the appearance of the building to be considerably improved. It will support the wider market development.”

The plans say a recent bat survey found no evidence that the toilets had recently been used by the winged mammals.

The existing building will also be given a much needed repair and refurbishment – in September 2022 the block was badly damaged in a fire.

A recent meeting of the Shipley Towns Fund board received an update on the toilets project. Members heard that the budget for the toilet block and extension would be £330,000, and that if plans are approved, the toilets would be open by Summer.

A decision on the planning application is expected early in February.

An earlier version of this story quoted the cost of the project as being £330,000. This was taken from the Shipley Towns Fund Board minutes. We have since been informed that the scheme will actually cost a maximum of £225,000, and the figure included in the minutes incorrectly referenced the budget for a scheme to improve toilets across the town - not just the Market Square toilets.