One of the 12 public toilets closed by Moray Council as a cost-cutting measure has been reopened, with plans in place to restore other facilities in the coming months.
The block at Hopeman East Beach was boarded up almost a fortnight ago, with residents told to make use of the ones at the harbour instead.
However, historic deeds revealed that the toilet and the ground it is situated on is already owned by the Hopeman Community Association (HCA) and the facilities were run in a joint agreement with the Moray Council.
This meant that the community has been put back in control of the maintenance of the site.
Dave Ball, chairman of the HCA was thrilled at having the toilets back in action.
He said: “It is fantastic to have the toilets back, as it is a great asset for every beach user. The harbour toilets are a fair distance away from the east beach so they are very important to the community.”
Meanwhile, both Cullen and Lossiemouth community councils are looking to agree deals with the Moray Council that will see them take control of their facilities and allow them to reopen to the public.
Lossiemouth Community Council chairman Mike Mulholland called on Moray Council to be more helpful to the group.
He said: “If there’s enough interest from all the various communities that have lost a toilet, then why not organise a meeting between us all and them and then sort out a joint approach to keep the toilets open between us?
“We are trying to get the toilets back up and running, so the council should be more helpful.”
The Station Park toilets in Lossiemouth were opened for Seafest and there are plans to reopen them for the town’s raft race.
John Cowe, Heldon and Laich councillor, said that he hoped the facilities would be reinstated soon.
“Communities can apply to keep the toilets open at no extra cost to the council, and I have told the Lossiemouth Community Council to send a letter to the council to express an interest in getting them reopened permanently.
“Right now, committees can get the toilets opened for events and absorb the cost themselves.”