IT had been a blot on the landscape for years.
The grotty old toilet block in Fartown had been closed for some time but when it was sold off at auction, one couple were determined to make the winning bid.
Bilal and Asima Sheikh had big plans to knock down the Bradford Road toilets and build a clothing shop in its place.
The new look for the site was unveiled to customers for the first time yesterday and the Birkby couple are delighted with the positive reactions.
The move came as another former public toilet block, at Newsome, took on a new look with builders converting it into a house.
Mrs Sheikh said: “We have been very busy and had some really good comments from customers.
“The toilets had been redundant for many years and people had been looking at them and wondering what will become of them.
“Customers have said they are very happy that we have done something with the site and what it is has become.
“I think they are surprised how big it is compared to how the plot used to look before with the toilets on it.”
The couple paid £132,000 for the small former WC in 2007 – much higher than the reserve price of £25,000.
It was sold as part of Kirklees Council’s plans to sell off closed and derelict toilet blocks.
The toilets Mr and Mrs Sheikh bought came with planning permission to knock the block down and build a two-storey shop.
They viewed the site, which is next to a busy road, as a prime location for expanding their business Noor Fashions.
The company sells traditional Asian clothes for women and the couple already have a shop in Dewsbury.
Despite purchasing the toilets in 2007, the new build was only completed around a month ago.
Mrs Sheikh said that while the demolition and building work was straightforward, the project took a long time to get off the ground because they had to re-apply for planning permission.
She said: “Originally the planning permission was just for one shop but we decided to have more shops with offices upstairs.
“We had to submit a new planning application for a three-storey building and it’s been a long process but we got there in the end.
The building has three shops downstairs and an office unit upstairs.
The couple have one shop and some office and storage space.
They are renting out the other units, with a beauty salon set to open soon while the third shop is still vacant.
Mrs Sheikh said: “We could have got it a lot cheaper as the recession hit straight afterwards, but the location attracted us.
“We’re normal people but I can see why people with a developing mind would want to buy this kind of thing.
“The council wanted to get rid of the toilets and I think that turning them into retail units or similar things are a good use for them.”
The shop was officially opened as in Newsome a new home was being completed on the site of another former public toilet block.
The toilets were on a grassed area at the junction of Newsome Road and Jackroyd Lane and the shell has been retained as part of the new house.