For years, campaigners have been pushing for the provision of Changing Places toilets to be a requirement under building and planning laws. Now, their efforts are paying off, with a move, in Scotland, taking it a step closer to being a reality.
The Scottish Planning Bill is currently at Stage 2 of its process- the detailed consideration- before it progresses to the final stage, which decides whether or not it shall become law. An addition to the final draft has seen the inclusion of Changing Places as a requirement for all new-build public buildings.
As one of the lobbying MPs said, Changing Places toilets are not a luxury, they are a basic human need.
After all, every single person goes to the toilet.
We can but hope that the national Government follows this example. In an ideal world, it would go further, and extend the requirement for provision of Changing Places beyond public buildings.
We recently conducted a survey into the types of locations people wanted Changing Places. Public buildings were not actually specifically mentioned. The top venues people DO want them are town centres (87%), and supermarkets (71%) i.e. the places we go on a weekly if not daily basis, where we spend the majority of our ‘away from home’ time.
So if the UK Parliament follows Scotland’s lead (assuming the Scottish Parliament votes for the amendment), let us hope it makes Changing Places compulsory in all town centre new developments.
One day, we may have the joy of knowing everyone can go into their local town and be able to find at least one suitable toilet, whatever their particular needs…..