The old toilet block opposite Sandown Pier is to be given a new lease of life under proposals being brought forward by the Isle of Wight Council. The building and the shop which forms a part of it is due to be completely renovated as part of proposals to revitalise this key part of Sandown Esplanade under the Isle of Wight Council’s Eastern Bay Regeneration Plan.
The building is on Sandown Esplanade, right opposite Sandown Pier. At the moment the old building has dedicated public toilet facilities as well as a commercial unit. The development will be an expansion of the commercial unit with an outdoor terrace with sea views, along with construction of a new dedicated public toilet block with a changing places facility – which will be the first in the Bay area.
As part of the design process the new first floor has been carefully considered to respect the historic views of the Pier when approaching from the north along Pier Street. The new extension is within the footprint of the existing building, and its height will be mitigated by a modest internal ceiling height and slimline flat roof structure.
The proposed upper floor level corresponds to the existing roof, and full-height glazing proposed for the new public seating area to maintain visual sight lines and facilitate the free flow of natural light throughout the space.
The underlying site character is of a locally important public space that originally hosted a bandstand and surrounding ornamental garden. This importance stems from both the site’s urban functionality as a link between the popular pier and beachfront with Sandown town centre, and its more natural role as a modest yet valuable coastal wildlife habitat.
The landscaping of the site will be designed along these principles, building on the ongoing maintenance work of the gardens to encourage year-round public usage and improvements to local biodiversity.