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Public Lavatories: Disability

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 71391, tabled on 8 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the availability of Changing Places toilets in local communities; and what steps he is taking to ensure adequate provision.

Answered on

19 November 2021

Where people shop, go out, or travel should not be determined by their disability. As society starts to open up again as we recover from the pandemic, it's crucial that our built environment allows everyone to enjoy the benefits of lockdown easing.  Changing Places toilets are a vital facility for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets and for their family and carers. It is estimated that there are currently only around 1200 Changing Places toilets in England.

In January this year, my Department amended Building Regulations' statutory guidance to provide a 12m2 Changing Places Toilet in certain types of new, large public buildings, such as places such as art galleries, cinemas, concert halls, museums, theatres, places of worship and motorway service areas, plus larger retail facilities, shopping malls, sport and leisure buildings, and in hospitals, primary care, crematoria and cemetery buildings.

To accelerate the provision of these facilities, my Department is also making up to £30 millionavailable to local authorities in England. The funding will boost the number of Changing Places Toilets in existing buildings. Local authorities were invited to lodge an expression of interest by 26 September 2021 and successful applications should expect to receive initial grant funding later this year, subject to ministerial approval.