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Public Lavatories

Volume 707: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure adequate provision of lavatories for public use. [HL945]

The provision of public toilets is primarily the responsibility of local authorities. The Government have taken action over the past 12 months to highlight the importance of good quality public toilets, and the positive action that local authorities and others can take to improve public access to these facilities. This includes the publication of a strategic guide on Improving Public Access to Better Quality Toilets, and more detailed guidance on community toilet schemes and the SatLav text messaging service.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure local authorities require the inclusion of lavatories for public use and prohibit the use of turnstiles to control access to those lavatories when granting planning permission. [HL946]

Decisions about toilet provision should form part of each local authority's strategic planning, taking into account varying needs at regional, district and local level. The strategic guide Improving Public Access to Better Quality Toilets highlighted a range of options available to local authorities and their partners. These include the use of planning obligations (sometimes referred to as Section 106 agreements) which can be attached to a planning permission to prescribe the nature of new development (eg by requiring provision of public lavatories), to ensure certain benefits or to secure a contribution (financial or in-kind) from a developer to mitigate the impact of a development.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect on disabled people, pregnant women and elderly people of turnstiles used as a means of controlling access to lavatories for public use in private developments. [HL977]

It is for local planning authorities to assess the impact of proposed developments as part of the planning application process, and new developments should comply with the relevant requirements of the building regulations. In addition, the disability discrimination legislation requires service providers to make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled people to access those services. This includes toilets provided for public use in private developments.