Traders gathered at The Quay in Sandwich on Saturday to protest against the closure of the car park there.
The district council plans to shut the car park for the Environment Agency and Sandwich Town Tidal Defence scheme to undertake flood defence works between October 1 and April 1.
Traders say this will affect their business, particularly during the busy Christmas period as visitors and staff will have nowhere to park.
Sandwich town councillor Paul Carter said: “The whole thing has been hushed up. They’re taking the car park for the staff to park their cars, for a canteen and mobile lavatories despite the fact we have perfectly good toilets on-site.”
Reg Franks, proprietor of Su-Shades, in Strand Street, has been leading the protest against the closure, he said: “Not only will this affect businesses as visitors will have nowhere to park but residents who have a permit for the car park will now be out of pocket.”
Mr Franks was informed of the closure on September 18 and has been spreading the word to other traders.
He said: “The council hasn’t thought this through or thought about how it will impact on the rest of the town.
“There’s a lot of anger in the community about this and a fear that this will stop people visiting Sandwich.”
Simon Harrison, manager of The Fruit Bowl in Market Street, said: “I think I can speak for all the traders when I say that shutting the Quay down will badly affect our business.
“This is a fight with the district council. They don’t let anyone know what’s going on until it’s too late.”
Mr Franks has been working on a petition for free on-street parking for up to one hour.
It gained 141 signatures but was rejected by the district council last year. The latest plans to close the car park for the next six months means that now more than ever the traders in Sandwich wish for this to be accepted.
Mark Moorhouse, chairman of the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce, said: “The chamber acknowledges that the work is essential but is disappointed that the Environment Agency did not communicate with us, as a result we have not been able to provide advance warning to businesses that either use the car park or have clientele that park at The Quay.”