THE wind of change could soon be blowing through rural toilets as green power is used to make them energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Ribble Valley Council said the bottom line was that many of its public toilets were so energy efficient that they could be run on wind power alone.

It is now considering whether to install wind turbines on many of the council-run public conveniences - and make it the green loo capital of England.

One of those in line for the energy-saving devices is the newly refurbished block at Chipping, which was unveiled yesterday after a major refurbishment.

The council spent more than a penny or two on the Chipping toilet, £76,000, to make it one of the most energy efficient in the county. Senior building surveyor Phil Thompson said Ribble Valley was one of the only councils in the UK to pioneer these energy-saving techniques.

He said: "This toilet is made from local reclaimed stone, the taps and fittings save water and the lights are as energy efficient as you can get.

"Across Ribble Valley we are looking at the public toilets and whether we can use wind turbines because the power required to run them is now so low."

Next in line for refurbishment is the public toilet at Dunsop Bridge, but the council needs permission from the Queen to carry out renovations because it lies within the Duke of Lancaster Estate.

Plans to utilise wind power and solar power are still in the pipeline but the technology could be used on public toilets across the borough.

A turbine costs £1,000 and sites such as Chipping and Slaidburn are some of those where it could be installed. Other villages, including Sabden and Read, could be in line for the arrival of wind power, but first of all they must under go renovation work. Ribchester loo, which underwent renovation last year, was meant to have a turbine installed but the council is now reconsidering because of vandalism at the site.

The Chipping block has a place where dogs or horses can be tied up and an exterior boot wash for hikers to use.

Ribble Valley Mayor Doreen Taylor said the council was flushed with pride over the initiative. She added: "The technology is so clever and it's a wonderful development."