Work starts on transforming public loos in Sheffield suburb into ice cream parlour
They were once the local public toilets in a Sheffield suburb.
But the former loos on Commonside, Walkley, are now being transformed into a dessert restaurant.
Work has started on a project which will transform the disused conveniences with a ground floor dining section, and a terrace on the roof where people will be able to eat with a view across the city.
Our pictures show where walls have been demolished and where some excavation work started to fit the cafe into the space.
The loos were reported to have sold for £60,000 in 2018 at auction, and planning permission for a scheme to convert them into a cafe was granted in 2018. The planning permission restricts the sort of catering equipment that can be installed on the site, though.
Workmen have been on site this week as the scheme starts to move forwards.
When they gave the scheme planning permission in 2018, Sheffield Council officials described both toilets as being ‘in a somewhat dilapidated state’ and having an air of neglect that has resulted from their closure.
Officials backed a scheme that will see the toilets opened up internally to create one larger space with the former men’s toilet laid out as a serving/counter area and what was once the ladies toilet as a seating area, for up to three tables catering for around nine people.
Official documents which were lodged with the council said that the owners were to use the premises as either a dessert shop serving ice cream, waffles, and crepes or for the sale of jacket potatoes.
They were looking to open between 11am and 7pm.
At the time there were petitions both in support and in opposition to the plans.
Locals understand that the scheme would be for a dessert restaurant.
One local resident who saw men working at the site said she thought converting the toilets into a cafe was a good idea. She added: “It looks like there have been some trees that have had to come down for it. It feels like there’s a bit of a creeping reduction in wild spaces and vegetation around here.”