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Scaffolding drives customers away

Scaffolding in Pudding Lane, Maidstone
Scaffolding in Pudding Lane, Maidstone

TOO much scaffolding has driven customers away and turned an historic street into an eyesore.

That’s the message from traders in Pudding Lane, Maidstone, who say the start of work to convert the former Chiesman’s building into flats and a 440 capacity bar, will drive yet more potential customers away from their street.

Scaffolding outside Paynes Stores, opposite the Chiesman’s building, has now been in place for two years and angry traders say the new work means pedestrians must contend with obstacles on both sides of the street.

The problem has been compounded, they say, by scaffolding outside the Old House at Home pub.

Peter Hemming, of Best Connections recruitment consultants in Pudding Lane, said: "It affects business because I don’t get as much footfall coming through."

Steve Snellin, who owns sandwich shop Daily Bread, said: "It’s annoying; it’s affected us because people don’t like walking along here. My trade is definitely down."

Scaffolding is expected to remain on the former Chiesman’s building until early 2009.

Jim Rennie, landlord of the Old House at Home, said work on his pub was due to be completed within the next two weeks.

Kent Highways confirmed that permits for the scaffolding had been issued.

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