Published: 00:01, 26 May 2017
Sparks have been flying over a generator which has been installed in Rochester for more than four months to supply power to a High Street pub.
An ongoing legal dispute with the utility company has forced the owners of the King’s Head to hire the appliance.
It was initially placed in the disabled parking area next to the Jolly Knight pub. But after complaints about the noise it was relocated to a corner in the Boley Hill car park.
It now looks as if problems over a bill have been resolved and the plug on the generator could be pulled in about a week.
Iltan Uslu,manager of the pub and hotel, said hire charges had cost thousands and “the sooner it was out the way the better”.
Mr Uslu said: “We employ about 20 people and we have a duty of care to them and our guests including a family who live here who would have left without a roof over the heads. The alternative would have to close the business for six months.”
Mr Iltan has paid out a weekly fee to the council for the parking slot.
He added: “We had not thought it would have taken so long to get sorted. It’s been a nightmare.”
A cable connects the generator across the car park and Epaul Lane to the pub.
Cllr Stuart Tranter, who represents Rochester, has taken on the case on behalf of objectors.
He said: “It’s been a case of striking a balance. On the one hand it is helping to keep a business going as well as keeping jobs, against the safety and inconvenience to the public.
“Let’s hope the owners have got it right and this will soon all be over.”
Alan Moss, chairman of the City of Rochester Society, said he drove over the cable several times a week and found it dangerous.
Mr Moss said: “It must be even more irksome to a driver who is unfamiliar with it and drives over it at more than a snail’s pace. I will be heartily glad to see the back of it.”
Chris Webb from Strood, said: “I first approached it at night and there was no warning as you come down Castle Hill.
"My initial thoughts were that it was dangerous and could damage cars along there.”
A Medway Council spokesman said: “We agreed the generator could be moved and temporarily kept in Boley Hill car park to help reduce noise disruption to residents.
“The cable has been covered by a rubber protector to keep the area safe, and due to the size of the cable it does not require a temporary Traffic Regulation Order.
“Without the generator the public house would have to close.
“We will continue to take appropriate steps to help support our local businesses.”