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Riverside Tavern landlord could lose his home to keep the pub running

By Rachel Dixon

A pub landlord could lose his home in a desperate bid to keep his tavern running.

“Frustrated, annoyed and heartbroken,” is how Luke Gallacher feels when he arrives at The Riverside Tavern every day.

The entrance to the pub in Canal Road, Strood, is blocked by a maze of fences and rumbling machinery from Strood Riverside housing development.

Mr Gallacher spoke to KMTV about the problem

Mr Gallacher, 32, who has run the pub for nearly 10 years, said: “I feel like I’m losing a baby.

“I’ve re-mortgaged my house to keep the pub going.

“The drinks shake as the steam roller operates. Even upstairs my computer vibrates. It’s like an earthquake.

Luke Gallacher could lose his home
Luke Gallacher could lose his home

“Customers can’t enjoy themselves and it’s damaging the building.

“I fought hard to get diversion signs but they are confusing, they change every week.

“I just want a bit of relief from the business rates I have to pay.

He has run the pub for nearly 10 years
He has run the pub for nearly 10 years

“I’ve contacted MP Kelly Tolhurst and the council but I’m being passed from pillar to post.”

Access to the pub is usually off the A2 at Rochester Bridge, but a diversion now takes traffic through Strood to Medway City Estate.

Mr Gallacher, who lives in Rochester, said: “It’s not safe. If I needed an ambulance or fire crew they would really struggle to get here.

The entrance to the pub is blocked by a maze of fences and rumbling machinery
The entrance to the pub is blocked by a maze of fences and rumbling machinery

“Large vehicles can’t get through, my rubbish hasn’t been collected for weeks. I want the council to be more accountable.”

Medway Council said it had constantly communicated with the business during the design and construction phases of the works, had tried to minimise disruption and had maintained access throughout.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway.

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