The owner of a café in town claims customers are being driven away from his business because of works taking place outside the shop opposite.
Joe O’Meara has condemned the re-tiling work taking place outside TJ Hughes on Terminus Road, insisting the noise and disruption is causing his business - The Tastebud Café - to lose out on up to £400 of trading per day.
Mr O’Meara said, “I understand improvements are necessary but replacing the tiles outside TJ Hughes is not an emergency - it didn’t need to be done now, during the peak season.
“I’m losing £300-£400 a day because customers don’t want to listen to drilling while they’re enjoying their meal. I’ve had customers come in, sit down and then leave, saying it is because of the noise. It’s so loud I can hear it clearly from the kitchen at the back of the café.
“We weren’t told anything about it or given any warning, they just started digging up the tiles one day. This is the middle of the summer season, traders’ busiest time - the work should have been done in January, not started in July. I can’t understand why they’ve waited until now to do it.”
Rob Goddard, assistant store manager of TJ Hughes, said, “The reason it’s going on now is because the flooring the council put down on the pavement outside our shop was a trip hazard because it was about an inch lower than the tiling in our doorway. We needed to address it urgently as it was a health and safety issue and so took over responsibility re-tiling the path as well as our own tiling.
“It was originally planned for earlier in the year but we had to get permission from the council for the tile colouring and the company supplying the tiles initially sent through the wrong colour, so we had to wait quite a while for the correct delivery to come through.
“Work began as soon as we received the correct tiles and they are working every day to get it finished as quickly as possible. Obviously it’s not the ideal time of year for us either - we don’t want hoarding up blocking our doors during the peak season - but it was work that needed to be done as soon as possible in the interests of public safety.
“There is hardly any drilling, maybe for just an hour or two on a couple of days a week, and we are now moving the work around the corner, so it will be further away from his shop.”
The work began a number of weeks ago and is expected to continue for most of August, although the hoarding has now moved from Terminus Road to the junction with North Street. The Tastebud Café sits on the corner where Terminus Road meets Seaside.
A spokesperson from East Sussex County Council said, “We carry out maintenance on our roads and footpaths to ensure they are safe and drain correctly.”