Council blasted over toilet shambles at Girvan harbour

The portaloo toilets at Girvan Harbour which the council have had to keep open.
The portaloo toilets at Girvan Harbour which the council have had to keep open.

South Ayrshire Council has been slammed as a mix-up left locals and tourists without any toilet facilities at Girvan Harbour.

The situation arose due to keys being handed over earlier than planned to a new £500,000 building featuring new toilets at the harbourside.

That handover on Tuesday June 30 meant that portable toilets were closed with immediate effect on Wednesday July 1 and were set to be taken away.

The Gazette understands they were heading for St Andrews, this year’s Open Championship venue.

However, with the new toilets not officially open at the new building, chaos ensued with coaches arriving at Girvan on what was the hottest day of the year so far.

Bus drivers were soon spreading the word that there were no public toilets available to tourists at the harbour leaving nearby business owners furious at the lost custom.

The Harbour Bar in Knockcushan Street was also inundated with passengers looking to use their facilities.

They were only able to use the facilities at the Harbour Bar to due a comfort scheme partnership with the council but that is set to end next month.

Residents have also been questioning why an official handover was completed when there was a well-known issue with the water supply in the new building.

The council has said there is now a temporary water connection in place until a permanent one is made by Scottish Water.

However, the public toilets crisis carried on into Thursday as Girvan Youth Trust hosted its first Thursday afternoon of summer activities for local children.

Around 60 kids were enjoying building sandcastles at Girvan beach only to once again find that there were no facilities for them to use leaving parents outraged.

A decision was finally taken by council officials on Thursday afternoon to keep the portable toilets open at the moment due to the ongoing issues with the new harbour building.

Donald Gillies, the council’s head of property, said: “As part of the development of Girvan Harbour we’re investing more than £400,000 in modern, fit for purpose facilities at Girvan Harbour that enhance the visitor experience.

“These great new facilities include five public toilets, including one with easy access and baby change facilities.

“In addition there is new accommodation for the harbour master, changing facilities for fishermen, changing and laundry facilities for yacht owners, all of which will make a big difference.

“While we put the finishing touches to these facilities, the temporary toilets will remain open and there is clear signage directing people to them. The new facilities will open later this month and permanent signage directing people to these will be installed in advance of opening.”