Cafe expands into toilets

Plans to extend an Alfreton cafe into former public toilets were approved unanimously.

The bid by Ali Ekin, owner of the Chatterbox Cafe, in Severn Square, was heard at Amber Valley council’s planning board on May 13. The owner will extend into the former public toilets, remove council signage and improve access by widening the entrance door.

Councillor Marlene Bennett, who opened the toilets when they were first built, said: “Does this mean that they will be open to the public or do you have to go into the cafe and buy a drink? I would like to see toilet accommodation for all. I think it is a good thing to see business in Alfreton expanding.”

Alfreton Town Council said public access to the toilets inside the cafe should be made a condition of the application being granted, with the owner compensated through Amber Valley’s Community Toilet Scheme.

Cllr John Walker was critical of the toilet scheme which saw public conveniences in Amber Valley closed as part of cost-cutting measures, with businesses paid to let the public use their toilets. The same meeting also approved an application to alter former public toilets on Rodgers Lane, in Alfreton, for garaging, storage and welfare facilities.