Consultation on closure of Cove toilets

Posted on: 23 March 2016

A consultation begins today (Wednesday 23 March) on the proposed closure of a toilet block at the Cove, Ilfracombe.

North Devon Council has been reviewing the cost and usage of council-owned public conveniences across the district. Use of the toilets on Cove Road has been gradually declining and as there are other facilities nearby at the Pier, the council proposes to close the Cove toilet block.

North Devon Council Executive Member responsible for public conveniences, Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “We’ve been reviewing our public convenience provision in general across North Devon and have identified that many of our toilets are very well used. However, our data shows that usage at Cove Road has been gradually declining and, following discussions with Ilfracombe Harbour Board and Ilfracombe Town Council, we are going out to consultation on proposals to close the toilets.”

In 2014/15, the public toilets at the Cove cost the council £14,000 to maintain, which includes £6,000 in cleaning costs. The toilet block is also subject to frequent anti-social behaviour and vandalism. If the toilet block was closed, the council would find another use for the building, which would include toilet provision specifically for local fishermen.

The consultation closes on 29 April. You can have your say on the proposed closure at

5 comments on “Consultation on closure of Cove toilets

  1. Shelley Basil says:

    First the toilets at Larkstone and Rapparee are shut, ( what are holiday makers on those beaches supposed to do? Swim across to the pier perhaps ).
    Now the Cove toilets which are adjacent to a busy beach used by many families with young children, if there is only one adult present they would have to pack up all their beach stuff to trek to the pier instead of a quick dash across the beach.
    Why replace these with a facility including toilets only for the use of fishermen, why not for the use of everyone?
    If we want holiday makers to return at least the basics should be supplied in convenient locations.

  2. David Warson says:

    • The Cove toilets are located near to a number recreation facilities and the coastal path / beaches etc.
    • Ilfracombe is a popular tourist town with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, generating revenue for the town and wider area, in order to maintain and improve the foot fall, I believe North Devon council has an obligation to provide clean, well maintained toilets in a number of strategic locations.
    • The toilets located on the Pier may be modern, but are very unpleasant to use, quite often not very clean.
    • In order to walk to the Pier toilets in the higher season, you have to run the gauntlet of continuous traffic driving along the Quay road trying to access the ridiculously located Pier car park.
    I would be very interested in finding out the method and validation process North Devon Council has used in capturing the data with regard to the usage of these conveniences in order to propose the closure of them, to save the meagre sum of £14,000 per annum

  3. Peter Jackman says:

    I sat today 31st March next to the toilets and we saw many people using the toilets….whom says usage has gone down is somebody sitting there all day every week and month watching….somebody is having a joke!!!

    • Mair says:

      Thank you for your comment, Peter. The proposed closure of Cove toilets is based on evidence gathered over several years, this includes staff taking water meter readings to cover specific periods of the year and using an approved formula to assess usage. No doubt the toilets are busier at certain times, such as the school holidays but overall there has been a gradual decline in usage over several years. If you feel strongly about the matter please do take part in our consultation online at

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are held for moderation. House rules

Posted in: Community