Bars, restaurants and offices will be barred from creating new premises with gender-neutral lavatories, under changes to the law to take effect later this year.

In a move which ministers said would increase the “safety, privacy and dignity” of women, new non-domestic buildings will be required to include separate male and female lavatories.

Those that cannot do so will have to install so-called universal facilities, which include a lavatory, wash basin and hand dryer behind a lockable door.

As well as affecting all new commercial buildings, the measure will also apply to businesses and hospitality venues undertaking “major refurbishment”.

The move could affect about 7,000 applications made for commercial developments each year that would have to comply with the regulations.

Ministers said the decision would end the rise of so-called “gender-neutral” lavatories, which denied privacy. But it has been criticised by campaigners who warned that it would further marginalise trans people and was part of a “culture war” sowing division in society.

The plans were first proposed by the government last year despite a strong campaign by opponents who said they posed a risk to the safety of trans women who would have to use male facilities.

The Times. To read the full story click here