INNOVATIVE plans will see a former block of public toilets turned into two shops.

The toilets, on Chapel Street, were sold in December as a cost-cutting scheme by Halstead Town Council after the block had been out of use since 2005.

Property developer, Kevin Mortier, of Mortier and Sons, has been granted planning permission and is hoping to convert the site to two units, which he hopes will allow space for start up businesses off the high street.

Kevin said: “When I saw the toilets up for sale, I though straight away that it was a great little site.

“It would be perfect for a couple of little start ups to move in and try and get themselves off the ground, as well as bringing more business into the town.

“It has also got the huge advantage of being directly in the town centre, but off the high street, so rent will be a little cheaper.

“It is a really interesting site, and we are happy to be bringing it back into use after its spent a lot of time empty.”

Kevin is hoping for a quick turnaround, with the site ready for two new businesses to move in, in late October.

The only change to the exterior of the building will see the front converted into two shop windows.

Halstead’s public toilets saga came to an end earlier this year when they were sold for £60,094.

The toilets, on Chapel Street, were closed in 2005 to save money, but still cost the Town Council £2,000 a year in costs.

The decision was made in November to put the toilets up for sale, receiving immediate interest.

After initially being out-bid, Kevin won the toilets after the highest bidder pulled out.