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Businesses hit by Greyfriars works

Hakan Kamdemir, manager of Cafe Portioli, in Bedford, shows were water has run into his premises. PNL-140406-143509001

Hakan Kamdemir, manager of Cafe Portioli, in Bedford, shows were water has run into his premises. PNL-140406-143509001

Businesses based near the Greyfriars bus station redevelopment claim the works are hitting their trade.

Mike Sharpe of Essential Appliances based at 20 All Hallows says that since the rebuilding work began they have lost three quarters of their trade.

Mike said: “I have lost customers and business - we’ve lost 75 per cent of business over the last four months. The noise was also unbearable last Thursday and Friday as they were digging right up to the wall. The noise is so loud you can’t speak on the phone and customers who have walked in have walked straight out again.

“There has also been a leak of water from the site which has made the carpet at the back sodden. We sell white goods and they have been vibrating with the noise from the diggers which has also caused me headaches. I called Environmental Health four times but they didnt get back to me.”

Hakan Kamdemir, manager of Cafe Portioli on the opposite side of the walkway said: “We would like the council to do something about the noise and the water leaks. I have lost a lot of business over the last four months - we would like to see a reduction in our business rates because of this.”

A council spokesman said: “Surface water drainage in the concourse area leaked into the shop and we can confirm carpet tiles will need replacing as a result. The tenant has already been reassured that the council’s insurance will cover this.”

Susan Cowley manager of Doodle Cards which is next door to Electrial Appliances and who have also lost custom and been affected with noise added: “I know the work has to be done but I just think those responsible could have done a better job of it. The noise gives us headaches and our stock constantly vibrates because of it. We also had a day without phones because of the works which meant we couldn’t use our credit card machines and we lost a large amount of customers because of it and because of the noise in general.”

John Foster, project manager for Britannia who are contracted to carry out the work said: “There is going to be disruption but everything is in accepted parameters.”

Mr Sharpe added: “The noise has been ridiculous. If a little old granny had her radio on too loud on a Saturday night the environmental people would be straight round with their clipboards and their noise meters - but when we as rate payers complain we are ignored.”

 

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