The town council of Porthcawl, Wales, is walking back its proposed set of renovations to the public restrooms in Griffin Park after receiving unexpected international backlash for its features.
According to the design and access statement given to Bridgend County Borough Council, the toilet rooms would be equipped with weight sensors that force the door open at a certain mass threshold and cold water jets that fire upon detection of vigorous movements.
Other features of the restroom cubicles would be a set timer to deter those who are homeless and an additional water feature that would douse the user if smoke was detected.
From weight-related concerns for those who need assistance in the restroom to fears of being sprayed for making the slightest movement, netizens were quick to clap back against the statement with a number of concerns.
Great to replace the toilets in Griffin Park however some of these technical measures are OTT. Take out the movement and weight sensors and we would have useful, clean toilets. #porthcawl— Elaine Winstanley (@elaine4labour) August 17, 2019
18 months from now: "Morbidly obese man sues council for emotional distress after toilet mistakes him for two people, sprays him with water and opens door while sounding an alarm."— Dr Andy Pickwell (@AndyPickwell) August 16, 2019
BBC News - Porthcawl public toilet plan includes anti-sex measures https://t.co/u5207If4wd
Those Porthcawl toilet plans are definitely a solution in need of a problem. "shall we help the homeless or shall we specifically design something that stops them being able to sleep safely whilst also dousing the overweight?"— VB (@VonBlade) August 16, 2019
Hmm. I've had some violent movements caused by dodgy kebabs! -- "Violent movement would activate a water jet to soak users, automatically open the doors and sound an alarm." -- BBC News - Porthcawl public toilet plan includes anti-sex measureshttps://t.co/DKQqCemw7G— The Big Oz (@TheBigOz) August 16, 2019
The new weight-sensitive toilet plans for #Porthcawl are an absolutely terrible idea. has anyone considered those of us who have to go in with our children? People of a larger size? As someone with social anxiety, I would go nowhere near these. https://t.co/EmpUajK5FT— Carly in Portugal (@CarlyinPortugal) August 17, 2019
Pretty sure there are some huge accessibility issues with these measures - people using toilets with carers, for example? BBC News - Porthcawl public toilet plan includes anti-sex measures https://t.co/KLDWC5jiVU— Dr Vikki Burns (@DrVikkiBurns) August 16, 2019
Can't wait to see how many people sue portcawl town council for being doused by a public toilet! Bound to go wrong sometime! Keep it simple don't waste your residents council tax! #porthcawl— Lorkyporky (@Lorkyporky1) August 16, 2019
What if a person with disability needs assistace? What if a wheelchair user wants to use the toilet and the combined weight is more than the measure??— Moon Moon Hossain (@MoonHossain2014) August 19, 2019
Porthcawl public toilet plan includes anti-sex measures - BBC News https://t.co/PqpkJMBRnS
Porthcawl Council have published a photo of what happens inside the new toilets if you take too long having a dump. pic.twitter.com/G029ExsLto— Wayne M John (@WayneMJohn) August 18, 2019
What could possibly go wrong?— Old Croaky (@OldCroaky) August 17, 2019
“Violent movement sensors”, too bad if you eaten an extremely spicy curry, having the door spring open may provide some much needed fresh air. #publictoilets #toilets #Porthcawl
This worries me. I'm of large stature so how would the floor know me ir 2 people?— CoffeeClub (@CoffeeClub16) August 16, 2019
BBC News - Porthcawl public toilet plan includes anti-sex measureshttps://t.co/HUzyBBe4RU
Perhaps in response to the public concern both near and far, the town council has since made it clear that they will simply be renovating the restrooms to include new, traditional toilets.
"The town council has never had any intention of installing any floor or other movement sensors, any restricted time entry; there will not be water sprays, or self-opening doors, no weight sensitive floor and no dousing equipment as described in the statement,” claimed the council. "Appropriate amendments will be made to the design and access statement as necessary."
The council maintains that their proposal was “misinterpreted” by the public.
The Porthcawl Town Council is responsible for £135,000 of the renovation’s £170,000 cost, while the Bridgend Council will fund the remaining £35,000, reported the BBC.