Five figure losses blamed on repairs

Annie Wiltshire: 'One of the busiest times'
Annie Wiltshire: 'One of the busiest times'

SHOP owners in Maidstone claim they've made lost tens of thousands of pounds since refurbishment of the Corn Exchange and Market Buildings began.

They claim the timing of the work couldn't be worse and more effort should have been made to prevent buildings on the opposite side being obscured.

And one shop owner who claims he's lost £20,000 in six weeks is calling for compensation from the leaseholders.

Dawnay Day Properties Ltd, based in London, commissioned a firm to carry out redecoration and roof repairs. It was due to begin on August 1 but started on August 19 with a finishing date given of November 10.

But since the work began trade has fallen for those within Market Buildings and the Corn Exchange, and businesses opposite.

Simon Webb, owner of Surf Shack, said people cannot see his building once they walk under the awning put up by the firm.

He said: "I 've been trading for 10 years and last week alone I was £2,500 down from normal. On one day we had just four customers and took £95 when we would normally expect to take £600.

"It is really crippling us at the moment. They told me it would cost an extra £7,000 to put gaps in the scaffolding and they chose not to do it. Myself and other shop owners would happily have paid it.

"I want compensation."

Annie Wiltshire, owner of Harpers who is also opposite Market Buildings, said she has also lost thousands and said clearer signs should have been put up to make it clear the shops were open.

She said: "It's crazy. We weren't consulted and they should have shown us more consideration. This is one of the busiest times of the year. "

Those inside Market Buildings also business has been damaged.

Town centre manager Bill Moss said: "The landlords have chosen the worst time of the year to carry out this work. They have shown no consideration."

M.J. Mapp, managing agents for Dawnay Day Properties, declined to comment.

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