Anger as Beck Row homes and shop access is blocked again

Residents and shop owners in Holmsey Green, Beck Row are angry over the blocked access. From the left:  Joe Hughes (affected residents), Raj Rutnam, Dudley Putnam, Charles Rogers (owner of Trendsetters) and Alan Vicarage (parish councillor) ANL-160124-193638009
Residents and shop owners in Holmsey Green, Beck Row are angry over the blocked access. From the left: Joe Hughes (affected residents), Raj Rutnam, Dudley Putnam, Charles Rogers (owner of Trendsetters) and Alan Vicarage (parish councillor) ANL-160124-193638009
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Raj Rutnam had only popped out to take his children to school, but he returned to find access to his shop and home blocked.

It was the second time in four months that he, neighbouring shops and residents in Holmsey Green, Beck Row, had had access to their businesses and homes hit by work on a Persimmon Homes development across the road.

Raj Rutnam outside his shop ANL-160124-193517009

Raj Rutnam outside his shop ANL-160124-193517009

In September, workers dug a trench too far across the road which meant it had to be closed for safety.

On Friday Mr Rutnam, who owns Beck Row Londis store, said: “They haven’t closed the road, but they’ve closed off my carpark and the driveway so I and my neighbours can’t get to our homes next to the shop.

“They sent us a letter saying they might have to close it overnight, but they didn’t say it would be today.

“If they’re closing it today, is it going to be over Saturday and Sunday? Weekends are out busiest time. There are residents who have gone off to work and don’t know they can’t get back home.”

When he asked workers on the site how long it would take, he was told it would be for the next week.

Mr Rutnam added: “This development is going to hit business anyway. People can no longer see us from the main road and the council hasn’t looked at a sign saying ‘local facilities’.”

Simon Wood, senior technical manager for Persimmon Homes Anglia, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused while these necessary roadworks are completed and wish to reassure residents that every effort is being made to minimise disruption.

“Although there will inevitably be times when access is restricted during the week, our contractors have adjusted the traffic management to ensure full access to the shop over the weekend.

“All residents will have received a letter from the contractors outlining the work taking place and we can confirm that they will be able to access their homes, albeit restricted at times.”

But yesterday Mr Rutnam reported that they had again been blocked off without warning.

“They should have talked to us first,” he complained. “I’ve had to reduce staff hours because there’s no business.”