Best of 14 bids for St Giles’ loos being finalised

St Giles toilets

St Giles toilets

First published in News

THE winning bid to buy underground toilets in Oxford city centre will be announced in the next few months.

St Giles toilets were put up for lease by the city council in February – attracting 14 bids from hopeful buyers.

The loos, which opened in 1895, were closed seven years ago, after health and safety concerns about caught-short pedestrians crossing a busy road.

Martin Conway, of estate agents Marriotts which marketed the toilets, said he was pleased with the level of interest in them.

He said: “I wasn’t surprised at the number of bids because a property of this type is always likely to get a good level of interest.

“I think it was the location which attracted people, being so central. Properties in the middle of Oxford, particularly with an unusual angle, always attract a good deal of interest.”

The toilets, which were marketed at a guide price of £65,000, could be put to a variety of new uses, the city council said, including a shop or a cafe.

John Tanner, the executive board member for cleaner, greener Oxford, said: “I am thrilled that so many people want to buy the toilets.

“It is central, it is quirky and I hope the taxpayer can make money out of it. We will be looking at the bids carefully and choosing the best possible one for Oxford.”

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The 119-year-old loos, which along with the Magdalen Street East toilets are the city’s only underground WC facilities, boasted many original features such as copper piping, brass-plated stair rails and black and white mosaic floor tiling.

By the 1980s, the toilets had deteriorated with rainwater seeping in and damp penetrating the underground walls. They underwent a £47,000 renovation in 1985 during which concrete skylights were also installed.

The council is offering the chance to take on a 125-year lease of the facilities, which cover an area of 47 square metres.

Council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said the toilets were put on the market after the authority was approached by a number of parties interested in purchasing them.

She said: “We took best bids on the toilets in St Giles after they were recently advertised and we are now working on the detail of the best offer submitted.

“This will need to be approved and a finalised deal could take several months.”

Comments (6)

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1:03pm Wed 30 Apr 14

mytaxes says...

Well done Mr. Clean and Green Tanner for closing the toilets in the first place under the excuse of "health and safety". How many other basic services will you get rid of?
Well done Mr. Clean and Green Tanner for closing the toilets in the first place under the excuse of "health and safety". How many other basic services will you get rid of? mytaxes
  • Score: 7

2:11pm Wed 30 Apr 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

were closed seven years ago, after health and safety concerns about caught-short pedestrians crossing a busy road. LIES LIES and more LIES. They are closed because the council can not be bothered to service them. How come for over a hundred years there was no H&S issue but now there is????????
Who ever buys it how are people going toget to it??? don't forget H & S issues.
I did not hear of one accident of someone get hit by traffic going to the toilets. What you going to do about the taxi rank then????
You are a liar Tanner and take to me court if you disagree.
were closed seven years ago, after health and safety concerns about caught-short pedestrians crossing a busy road. LIES LIES and more LIES. They are closed because the council can not be bothered to service them. How come for over a hundred years there was no H&S issue but now there is???????? Who ever buys it how are people going toget to it??? don't forget H & S issues. I did not hear of one accident of someone get hit by traffic going to the toilets. What you going to do about the taxi rank then???? You are a liar Tanner and take to me court if you disagree. HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: 6

3:07pm Wed 30 Apr 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

true, maybe they couldn't get across the road quick enough with their trousers round their anckles.
true, maybe they couldn't get across the road quick enough with their trousers round their anckles. HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: 1

6:26pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Vernon Spools says...

Have the health and safety issues gone away then. This still makes no more sense from when it was first reported. Saving money from closing them, and making money from leasing them, whilst the health and safety issues still remain, but if someone sues due to crossing the road to get to the new cafe it's no longer the councils fault.

The irony would be it's turned into a cafe with no toilets, and customers are knocked down crossing the road getting to the toilets in the market.
Have the health and safety issues gone away then. This still makes no more sense from when it was first reported. Saving money from closing them, and making money from leasing them, whilst the health and safety issues still remain, but if someone sues due to crossing the road to get to the new cafe it's no longer the councils fault. The irony would be it's turned into a cafe with no toilets, and customers are knocked down crossing the road getting to the toilets in the market. Vernon Spools
  • Score: 1

8:54pm Wed 30 Apr 14

RunRonRun says...

Nah, it floods with raw sewage when there is a lot of rain. the sewers often over flow in the basements for all the surrounding buildings too.
Nah, it floods with raw sewage when there is a lot of rain. the sewers often over flow in the basements for all the surrounding buildings too. RunRonRun
  • Score: 1

11:01pm Wed 30 Apr 14

OX26Hound says...

Close and sell off / privatise a useful public convenience and that's seen as a bit of nifty fundraising business by the Labour council. But close, sell off or privatise a public library - an equally important public amenity (although run by the county council) - and that's seen as a nasty plot by Tory toffs.

The hypocrisy from Tanner is beyond belief (who on earth votes this idiot in?).
Close and sell off / privatise a useful public convenience and that's seen as a bit of nifty fundraising business by the Labour council. But close, sell off or privatise a public library - an equally important public amenity (although run by the county council) - and that's seen as a nasty plot by Tory toffs. The hypocrisy from Tanner is beyond belief (who on earth votes this idiot in?). OX26Hound
  • Score: 0

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