POOLE council has announced that Baiter Park toilets will be reopened later this week in a major U-turn.

It follows months of back and forth between the public and Borough of Poole about the recent toilet closures. 

And until now the council has refused to entertain the notion of re-opening the public conveniences.

Campaigners - including the Daily Echo - have been trying to get the toilet block re-opened for the summer holiday and following a number of cabinet, council and scrutiny meetings were told it would not happen.

But now Borough of Poole has announced a major U-turn on its decision stating that the toilets will be re-opened temporarily from the end of the week.

A statement from the council said the toilets would be opened while BoP carried out a procurement process.

It is unknown how long the toilets will be re-opened for and there is currently no time limit to find a potential operator.

The council said the decision was made “in line with its policy” to explore alternative providers for the facilities at Baiter Park.

Cllr John Rampton, cabinet member for environmental services, said: “I am very pleased that, as planned, officers are moving forwards to secure a commercial proposal for Baiter toilets. 

“Because of the interest that we have received I am optimistic that a long-term solution will be found and support the efforts to seek a partner who can deliver public toilets within the regulations that apply to Baiter Park.”

News of the council’s decision has been met with delight by campaigners and those residents who live near to the closed toilets.

Parkstone Bay Association chairman Mike Randall had written dozens of letters calling for the toilets to be re-opened before the summer holidays

Mr Randall said since it closed, the toilet block has become a “stinking cesspit” with people defecating and urinating outside. 

But upon hearing the news that they would re-open Mr Randall said he was “astonished and delighted”.

“It just shows what can happen when people rally together and fight for something,” he added.

“It’s absolutely brilliant. I just don’t know why the council let it go this far before changing their minds.”

This is the second U-turn the council has made since it announced plans to close a further eight public facilities earlier this year.

The Haven toilets near Sandbanks Ferry were re-opened at the end of May following dozens of complaints from wealthy homeowners who said people were relieving themselves inside their front gardens, up against their walls and down a side alley.

In the case of the Haven toilets the council said they would be opened temporarily until September 30.

Despite the U-turn the council said it remained committed to the community toilets policy, stating that it is the only sustainable policy it can support in light of Government cuts.