AN ASHBOURNE toilet block that sold at a London auction for £100,000 was bought by the town’s best-known pizza chef, Benny Morabbi.
Benny, and his brother Majid, who run the successful Compton takeaway business Benny’s, got locked into a bidding war that saw the price of the former Union Street toilets rise to 10 times its guide price.
Benny, who also paid £120,000 for the former Tourist Information Centre in the Market Place, says he is not sure what he plans to do with the two former Derbyshire Dales District Council buildings but says he is excited by the prospect of converting the redundant toilet building.
He told the News Telegraph: “I’ll be honest matey I’ve absolutley no idea what to do with it yet. I’ve been looking for property in Ashbourne for a while and I just find this really interesting.
“To a normal eye it is just a toilet but to my eye it could be anything. It could be a shop.
“Anyone who thinks it’s just a toilet and it’s not worth what we paid for it, I think they are the ones not being true to themselves.
“But for me a little project in the middle of the town is exactly what I’ve been after.
“I love Ashbourne, it’s a beautiful town and it’s good to be a part of it so I think this is a great opportunity for me.”
The Iranian businessman, who has bought and renovated other properties in Ashbourne before, has lived in the town for nearly 28 years and his pizza shop has been a meeting place and a favourite stop-off for generations of Ashbourne people.
His building inspector is now working with him to devise a plan for transforming the toilets.