Seafront upgrade is ‘ruining’ trade

PUBLISHED: 13:00 06 June 2016

Michelangelo roadworks

Michelangelo roadworks


Businesses in Weston have slammed North Somerset Council over development work which they say is ‘ruining’ trade, and claim they were not informed about the work taking place.

Flood defences near Knightsone Island are undergoing a £300,000 upgrade, but nearby businesses have complained of ‘terrible’ noise, disruption and timing which is impacting on trade.

The development will see the Dutch dam on the promenade replaced with floodgates designed to improve response times to storms. The work is scheduled to finish next month.

Victoria Upward, manager at restaurant Il Michelangelo, in Knightstone Road, said: “We’ve had no letter of intent to say this was even happening in the first place, so we haven’t been able to warn customers or come up with a contingency plan to make up for the business loss.

“We’re losing our outside trade because people are not willing to put up with the noise, which is understandable because of the dust and jackhammers. It’s terrible.”

This view was echoed by Bee Vonguyer, manager of Nook and Harbour Holiday Apartments, in Kightstone Road. She said: “People have booked in for a week, stayed three or four days and left because all you can hear is this noise.

“It’s mental, we never got a warning or anything.”

Katherine Pink, who runs Stones Café in Knightstone Causeway, said: “It would have been nice if someone popped over and said ‘for eight to 10 weeks we’re going to ruin your business’. I did not get a letter.

“I just think generally the attitude from the council has been that they don’t really want to help us at all.”

Ms Upward told the Mercury Il Michelangelo was losing ‘at least £1,500-2,000 per week’ due to the works. Ms Vonguyer said the disruption was costing her business £700-800 per week, while Ms Pink said the café was down more than £200 per day, forcing the business to cut back one worker’s hours.

With summer season nearing its peak, the timing of the development has compounded anger over the disruption.

Ms Upward said: “We’ve got another eight weeks of this. It’s the beginning of the summer season, they’ve had all winter to do this. Weston relies on its tourism and they’re ruining the trade.”

Ms Upward argued if the businesses were warned they ‘would have been able to overcome some of it because we would have been able to realise that we need to boost the evening trade to supplement the fact we couldn’t have the lunchtime’.

The council, however, says businesses were informed ahead of time.

A spokesman told the Mercury: “We advised all properties on Knightstone Island, including the businesses, using our normal distribution list.”

The council spokesman also defended the timing of the work. He said: “It is sensible to carry out the work when risks from storms have reduced and tides are a bit lower. The Environment Agency would not give us permission to do the work in the winter or spring. We are avoiding the summer holidays by doing it now.”

More from Weston Mercury

50 minutes ago

A father from Winscombe was sentenced to more than three years in prison for a knifepoint robbery of a Weston shop.

Read more

A father ‘struggled’ to care for his son without support for 20 weeks after North Somerset Council failed to provide him with adequate information about carer’s assessments.

Read more

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council have appointed a new town clerk.

Read more
Yesterday, 23:04

People flocked to Weston on Saturday for a day of alternative therapy, spiritualism and traditional crafts from around the world.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

Pupils turned out in droves, sporting yellow ears and eye patches, in support of Children in Need.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:23

A Weston boy, who has been long been hailed as an inspiration to children suffering from bullying, has added another prestigious prize to his collection.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:23

Weston boss Marc McGregor has hailed the performance Tom Llewellyn in the Seagulls’ defeat at Welling United, after the teenage starlet marked his first league start with a stunning goal.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Children as young as 12 have been caught running on the roof of a derelict factory and trespassing in the collapsing building.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:41

A six-year-old has raised more than £500 for a Wraxall charity with a sponsored hair cut.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:44

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse from October 4-16.

Read more
In The Dock

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather



max temp: 8°C

min temp: 0°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists