Margate businesses forced to fork out for portable loos as council toilets remain shut

The Sun Deck brought in portaloos

Margate seafront businesses have been forced to fork out for portable loos due to Thanet council facilities being shut.

The toilets at the Nayland TS Eliot shelter,off Canterbury Road, are shut due to an issue with sewage spilling onto the sands.

Toilets at Margate station and at the other end of the sands by the clock tower present access difficulties for people who are not fully mobile and have also suffered flooding in the men’s loos. Toilets at the harbour arm are still not being regularly maintained despite pleas from businesses.

The  Nayland toilets have been shut for most of the tourist season. They were closed over Easter then opened on May 6 but shut again for the May bank holiday at the end of the month when hot weather brought thousands of visitors to the sands.

Sun Deck traders say they were given no warnings of the closures, which are putting them in jeopardy because nearby facilities are required as part of their licences.

Now The Sun Deck team has been forced to pay for two portable loos so that customers – and others using that end of the beach – can go to the toilet.

Jodie Ellena, from The Sun Deck team, said: “We managed to get a deal with the company at £35 a loo as we said we’d hire them for the season because we can’t trust Thanet council to maintain the public toilets.  We will be the only toilet between Strokes golf course (also private) to where the clock tower toilets are and obviously won’t deny use to anyone, even if they are not customers. How could we tell a parent with a small child that they have to go right up the other end of the beach.

“How is a disabled person to use the clock tower loos anyway with stair access only? The next nearest public facilities for disabled people are the harbour arm!

“Our food businesses and bar licence means we have to have accessible public facilities as part of a condition. With the toilets closed, we’re now in danger of contravening planning law through no fault of our own and could face being shut down because of the lack of facilities.

“People have have been using the beach and the sea as a toilet because they won’t make it to the next facilities. Thanet council talks about getting the Blue Flag in Margate but how long will that last with people going to the toilet in the sea and on the beach?

“Why are the council not providing an alternative? It’s absolutely disgusting! They could get portaloos, even just 10, so there are facilities for people to use.”

The Sun Deck has a variety of businesses, including the Bus Cafe, Po Boy creole fish, Tiki bar, the Curry Shack, Juice Project, and a hot dog stand.

Harbour Arm traders say they are also being affected as the long-standing issue of having regular maintenance at the toilets there has still not been resolved and the disabled toilet has been broken for a week.

One trader said: “A lot of people won’t go there because of the state of them. All of the businesses are suffering because of this.”

Public facilities in The Centre and College Walk were also shut last year although The Centre was reopened amid a public outcry.

Thanet council says it is working to deal with the issue at the Nayland toilets as a matter of urgency with a contractor due to carry out repairs.

The Public Health Act 1936 gives local authorities a power to provide public toilets but it imposes no duty to do so.

A report by the BBC in 2016 found that between 2010 and 2013, one in seven public toilets was closed because of local council cuts.

Public toilets sold off in Thanet, or placed on the market for sale, include St Lawrence, Boundary Park in Ramsgate and facilities in Queen Street, Ramsgate, public loos in Westbrook and former toilets at Viking Bay.

Find a public loo

All opening times are subject to changes should there be snowfall or icy conditions.


LocationDisabledBaby ChangingWinter opening timesSummer opening times 26 Mar – 9 Sept
Alpha Road Car ParkYesNo8am to 6.05pm8am to 5.45pm
Minnis Bay Car Park


No8am to 5.40pm8am to 8:15pm


Location Disabled Baby Changing Winter opening timesSummer opening times
10 Apr – 10 Sept
Albion Street Car parkClosed until further noticeClosed until further noticeClosed until further notice


Closed until further notice
Clock Tower (Victoria Parade Promenade)Yes -UNISEXYes8am to 6.45pmDisabled only but accessible to all8am to 8:20pm
Broadstairs HarbourYesYes8am to 7:15pm8am to 7:40pm


Croft’s Place Car parkYesNo8am to 7.45pm8am to 7pm
Hopeville Avenue Car parkYesNo8am to 8pm8am to 5:40pm


Joss Bay*YesYesSeasonal -open from 26 Mar to 9 Sept 2018only.8am to 6:55pm
Stone Bay*AmbulantYesSeasonal -open from 26 Mar to 9 Sept 2018 only.8am to 7:25pm
Vere Road Car parkYesYesSeasonal-open from 26 Mar to 9 Sept 20188am to 7:10pm
Viking Bay (Beach Chalets)NoYesSeasonal -open from 26 Mar to 9 Sept 2018 only9am to 8.00pm
Dumpton Gap Beach*AmbulantYesSeasonal -open from 26 Mar to 9 Sept 2018 only8am to 6:45pm
Botany BayNoNoSeasonal -open from 26 Mar to 9 Sept 2018 only8am to 6.35pm

* Not available during the winter closure


LocationDisabledBaby ChangingWinter opening timesSummer opening times
10 Apr- 10 Sept
Dane ParkNoNoConcessionaire discretion*Concessionaire discretion
Buenos Ayres (Marine Terrace)Yes


No8am to 7.15pm8am to 8:35pm
Harold Road Car ParkYesNo8am to 3.55pm8am to 4pm
Harbour ArmYesNo8am to 3.25pm 8am to 7:05pm
Margate CemeteryNoNoCLOSEDCLOSED
Margate Clocktower (Sea Front)NoNoSeasonal – open from 26 Mar to 9 Sept 2018 only8am to 9pm
Northdown ParkNoNoNot in useNot in use
The Oval Bandstand(Eastern Esplanade)YesNoOpen on request for events only
The Centre Shopping MallYesNo8am to 5:35pm8am to 6:20pm
Westbrook Bathing Pavillion(Royal Esplanade)NoNoSeasonal – open from 26 Mar to 9 Sept 2018 only8am to 7.25pm




Baby ChangingWinter
opening times
opening times
10 Apr – 10 Sept
Cavendish Street car parkYesNo8am to 6.00pm8am to 6:15pm
East Pier yard
(next to former casino site) to 6.30pm8am to 9pm
King George VI ParkYesYes8am to 3.50pm8am to 5.55pm
Ramsgate CemeteryNoNo8:00am to 3.30pm8am to 4pm
The Bathing Station(Marina Esplanade)YesYesSeasonal – open 26 Mar to 9 Sept 2018 only9am to 8:35pm
Screaming AlleyYesNo8am to 5.35pm8am to 6:30pm
St Lawrence High StreetNot in useNot in use


LocationDisabledBaby ChangingWinter
opening times
Summer opening times
10 Apr – 10 Sept
WestbayYesYes8am to 4.50pmDisabled only as Unisex8am to 7:55pm
St Mildreds BayYesNo radar key needed during Winter hoursYes
but not during Winter hours
8am to 4.20pmDisabled only as Unisex8am to 7:40pm
Station Road(next to train station)YesNo8am to 6.35pm8am to 6pm


  1. There,s toilets in Thanet Gateway too ! We,re all customers of TDC because we pay them council tax !

  2. Thanet’s Tory council have abdicated responsibility for providing the basic services. Margate beaches have been packed today, yet the council have done nothing but remove toilets from service. If they don’t want to look after our town they should resign and let us elect a council that will.

    • Sorry.. but since when was TDC a Conservative Council? They only have 21 seats to a combined total of 34 seats occupied by other parties.. UKIP, Independents, Labour, etc.. the whole lot of them need to get their act together and support virtually the only good thing they have going for them, especially with this good weather.. is tourism!

  3. What an embarrassment our council are!… What an absolute shower! They should be ashamed of themselves; if they can’t look after the basics, then get the hell out!

  4. The public are not able to use the toilets in the Gateway as we asked them!

    Why are many of the toilets listed above closed earlier during the summer months than the winter? That doesn’t make much sense.

    This Tory council needs to go as they cannot get anything right. They are trying to put the tourists that bring money to the area off from coming. The seafront toilets closed, the seafront and parks litter bins unemptied and overflowing along with the dog bins. The beaches and promenades left dirty. No parking enforcement along the seafront pavements and yellow lines. What an advert for the area ! We need a change of Council as this shower are useless, even contradicting themselves and their officers over planning for the future. We want a proper service to return.

  5. What a nightmare. I know Margate is not the only council that closes toilets. In the Twenty First Century easily accesible toilets should not be a luxury. For many of us there is no point in going anywhere that does not have toilets and once again women, mothers and the disabled are put at a disavantage; having a quick wee on the beach is hardly an option for women with their period or who are heavily pregnant.

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