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Sutton Coldfield apartment comes with real royal throne room

Former council house development will feature toilet built especially for the Queen in the 1950s

The old Sutton Coldfield Council House
The old Sutton Coldfield Council House

Buyers of an apartment in a new Midland development are being offered a Royal throne of their own - a toilet built solely for the use of the Queen.

When plans were being drawn up for the £10 million residential scheme at the former Sutton Coldfield Council House, developers spotted an unusual annexe.

It turned out to be a special lavatory built for a visit from the Queen to the Jubilee Scout Jamboree in Sutton Park in 1957. Apparently, it went unused after no Royal flush was called for.

It will be a feature of one of the 18 apartments being developed at the redundant municipal building which dates back to 1865.

However, Anthony McCourt, director of Gethar Ventures, said changing tastes in the intervening decades dictate that, while the annexe would remain, the actual toilet would have to be changed.

He said: "The last three monarchs have all visited the building and, when Her Majesty came to the town, a bathroom facility was constructed for her convenience.

"This project is going to be heavily influenced by retaining as many original features of the building as possible and we've spoken publicly about our willingness to be judged on this.

"As much as we'd love to keep a toilet originally built for Her Majesty, times and tastes have changed and I don't think buyers would be particularly enamoured by the pink colour scheme that was evidently very fashionable at the time.

"That said, the room will remain as a bathroom after the refurbishment and we'll be ensuring the new facilities are fit for a royalty of this era.

"One resident will be able to legitimately claim their bathroom was built for Her Majesty."

Sutton Coldfield has regularly welcomed monarchs over more than 500 years - Henry VIII bestowed the royal moniker on the town in 1528 and that was recently reaffirmed.

However, it was not until 1957, when the Queen headed into town for the World Scout Jubilee Jamboree, that the Royal privy was added.

Work is expected to start in a matter of months on the first phase of the scheme, which will see 18 apartments carved out of the existing building, which Gethar bought from Birmingham City Council earlier this year.

A total of £4 million will be invested in this phase, with work to start in the autumn and expected to finish by summer 2015.

Construction will then begin on the second phase, costing £6 million, which will see work take place on the land next to the council house, with plans to create two restaurants and 35 apartments.

The building is connected to Sutton Town Hall, which is not included in the sale, and has recently been used as a register office.

The council house began its life as the Royal Hotel but was commonly referred to as the Railway Hotel.

It was later bought by Lieutenant Colonel Wilkinson who transformed it into a sanatorium, a facility used to treat chronic diseases, but from the early 1900s it has been used by the Borough of Sutton.

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