A BLOCK of disused public toilets in Weymouth will be given a new lease of life as a youth centre.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s management committee gave the go-ahead to convert the building on Portland Road, Wyke Regis, into a drop-in centre for young people.

Coun Geoff Petherick, chairman of Beaches Youth Centre, submitted the proposal together with Synergy Housing.

Speaking after the meeting he said: “This is going to be a great thing for the youth centre, we’ve spent so long looking for a permanent place.

“I strongly believe this will assist with the problems in the area – unless we engage with youngsters we will never solve the problem.”

A fold-away awning will be constructed at the back of the building so that it can accommodate 20 users.

Coun Petherick said at the meeting: “The youth club vacated its premises at All Saints School because it had been broken into and vandalised.

“The plans relate to the philosophy that every child matters.

“We want it to be a safe place where they can talk about job opportunities and a whole series of things.

“They are not just there to have fun or make a nuisance of themselves.”

He added: “The plan is supported by the Friends of Wyke Gardens and the Wyke Protection Society.”

Councillor Peter Chapman said: “I can’t see an alternative use for the building, using the property for this purpose is something I think is needed. It’s been sat there rotting and this is the best use that’s come about.”

However, some councillors and Wyke residents said they were against the idea.

Joe Stone spoke at the meeting to object to the plan and said residents have not been properly consulted.

He said it would have a negative impact on neighbouring households in terms of noise and antisocial behaviour.

Mr Stone said: “The centre would only be open until 9pm and then where will all the youngsters go after that?”

Councillor Andy Blackwood said: “I’m not sure it would reduce antisocial behaviour.”

A planning application will go before the planning committee later this month.