Another load of bollards for Beck Row shop family

Dudley and Raj Rutnam outside their home where the blue crosses mark the proposed positions for bollards ANL-160831-111329001
Dudley and Raj Rutnam outside their home where the blue crosses mark the proposed positions for bollards ANL-160831-111329001
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A family has accused Suffolk County Council of reneging on an agreement not to block access to parking in front of their home.

For Raj Rutnam and his family, finding workmen about to install bollards in front of their home’s three parking spaces in Holmsey Green, Beck Row, was the latest in a saga of frustrating inconvenience stretching back almost a year.

They lost business at their Londis shop next to their home in September 2015 after a mistake by the builders meant the road had to be closed at short notice.

There were further road closures, not always with sufficient notice, and then, in February, Raj arrived home to find bollards in front of his house, which Suffolk County Council’s Highways Department agreed to remove.

But last week, contractors returned to put in a double row of bollards in front of the house so he tried to contact the officer who had agreed not to put them there only to find she was away.

On Tuesday, the contractors returned and the Rutnams had to park their cars on their property to stop the work.

Raj said: “Nobody contacted us. They said ‘no bollards’ and the local councillors all agreed.

“I’ve spoken to previous owners and there’s been a drop kerb here for at least 60 years.”

His father Dudley added: “They came to an agreement with us and now they’ve reneged on it.

“They claim this is public highway and they can do what they like with it, but they’re blocking us off.”

On Tuesday the police were called because it was claimed the Rutnams were ‘blocking the pavement’ but the officer left after establishing their cars were on their own land.

The planning permission the Rutnams have for converting the ground floor of what is now their home from a tanning salon to residential use, includes the parking places.

A worker for the contractor said there had been a site meeting, which the Rutnams were not involved in, where it was decided drivers were cutting across a newly installed curve in the pavement, so bollards were needed to protect pedestrians.

A county council spokesman said all three officers concerned with the project were on leave this week.