A Withycombe resident has accused district chiefs of ‘distorting the facts’ to pave the way for the demolition of seafront toilets and the building of new ones.

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East Devon District Council (EDDC) has started demolition of the toilets, located between the bowling alley and the old Lifeboat Station.

The new toilets, which will be open by Easter, will include both disabled and baby changing facilities.

And they add that the existing toilets are costly to maintain and do not meet current British Standards.

In a statement, EDDC said that although fewer in number ‘it should be remembered that the existing toilets are actually under-utilised with the optional 10 female toilets never used in the last three years’.

On the Exmouth Vision Facebook page Richard Benford, editor of the Exmouth Voice, said: “So, to get this right, when you said they were never used for three years that is in fact because EDDC never opened them.

“You chose to tell people they were under utilised to the extent that the optional female toilets were not actually even used for but failed to say that they were not open anyway.....is that not misleading the public?”

He added: “By failing to say these toilets were in fact locked up is a distortion of the facts.

“Some would say by being economical with the facts gave EDDC the justification to build not only less toilets but no female toilets.”

A spokesman for EDDC said: “The new toilets are higher quality, easier to clean and maintain, and meet new access and health and safety standards.

“We are confident that, along with the toilets at the Pavilion and the new facilities that will be provided at the new Queen’s Drive water sports hub, there will be sufficient toilets for this part of the seafront, and all of a standard of which the town can be proud.”

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