January 22, 2015
Burnham firm seeks compensation for 'disruptive' street roadworks

A Burnham-On-Sea business has this week asked the Town Council for compensation after disruption caused by pavement roadworks in the High Street.

Town Clerk Denise Emery said at a public meeting of the council's Town Projects Committee that David Bull Optometrists in the High Street has written to the council.

"We have received a letter asking us to consider compensation following the noise and disturbance caused by the installation of a new electricity box outside the business," she confirmed. "It says that its business and customers were affected during the work."

But the matter was not welcomed by town councillors. Cllr Louise Parkin said: "I lost hundreds of pounds of business last year when work was carried out outside the Pavilion, but I did not seek compensation. It's not normal to ask for compensation for temporary repair or work like this. The improvements in the town centre will benefit businesses in the long run with increased revenue."

But David Bull told he did not directly request compensation from the council: "Firstly my e-mail to the Town Centre Manager simply asked whom I should contact should we consider claiming in the event of further disturbance and disruption. To date we have received no notification of the dates when work will be carried out and have had to put up with noise and dirt coming into our premises as a result."

He added: "Much of our work involves communicating with our clients and even for those with good hearing this became difficult. As such the impact on our business is not comparable to that on an amusement arcade. It remains to be seen whether these changes will be beneficial to those businesses most affected. We have not sought compensation and would only do so in extreme circumstances. Care for our patients remains our sole priority."

The new electricity box has been installed on the pavement in the High Street by the Town Council to enable local community groups to hold events there.

The installation is part of a package of improvements amounting to £440,000 funded by Tesco to offset the expansion of its Burnham store, along with grants from the Town Council and former South West Regional Development Agency. The work aims to enhance the appearance of Burnham town centre to encourage more shoppers and visitors.


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