RE-OPENING public toilets in Shipley town centre will provide a “much-needed facility” for the area, planners have said.

A planning application to refurbish and reopen one of the toilet blocks in the town’s market square has been approved by Bradford Council – nine years after the facilities were closed due to budget cuts.

The proposals were part of the Government-funded Towns Fund – a £25m pot of cash to regenerate Shipley Town Centre.

The former male toilet block will be divided up into three unisex toilet cubicles, one of which will be a larger disabled cubicle.

A section of the building will be used for storage by Shipley Town Council, which will operate the toilets.

 A new extension to the building will be used as storage for market traders.

Approving the work, planning officers said: “The alterations to the toilet block will bring it back into active use and provide a much-needed facility for the local community and visitors to Shipley town centre alike.

“The new disabled toilet with a level access is particularly welcomed.

“The service will not be free of charge, being locked when not in use. However, this is understandable to ensure that the facility can be maintained, going forward, and to prevent anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

“The toilets previously were susceptible to damage, costly to maintain and often unpleasant to use, all factors which contributed to their closure.”