‘It is killing our business’ - Pub’s anger over roadworks

PUBLISHED: 12:02 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:02 15 November 2018

The Grange at Ormesby St Margaret.

Picture: James Bass

The Grange at Ormesby St Margaret. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

A frustrated businessman is counting the cost of roadworks which have shut the main entrance to his restaurant for five weeks and seen trade drop by an estimated 75pc.

The Grange Hotel, Ormesby St Margaret. Photo: Google StreetviewThe Grange Hotel, Ormesby St Margaret. Photo: Google Streetview

Lane Smith, said he only expected contractors to be outside his pub and eaterie for two weeks but they had now been there for five with many customers thinking they were shut.

Developer Persimmon Homes is carrying out road improvements associated with its new estate Beauchamp Grange on the Caister/Ormesby fringe.

It has meant four-way traffic lights at the A149 roundabout and along Jack Chase Way blocking the main entrance to The Grange Freehouse.

Mr Smith, 60, said the saga had dragged on too long with motorists wisely avoiding the area.

Work is being carried out to create a new traffic island by Persimmon Homes in Ormesby Picture: Liz CoatesWork is being carried out to create a new traffic island by Persimmon Homes in Ormesby Picture: Liz Coates

Although signs saying “business open as usual” had been provided they were inadequate and did not signpost customers to the rear entrance, he said.

“We are just a small family business and they are making a lot of money from this.

“Our business has been affected enormously. They said it would for two weeks and now it is in its fifth week.

“The signage they have put up is totally inadequate. We have had people that have booked and not turned up, not everyone knows we have a back entrance and think we are closed.

“The restaurant was doing really well and now it is like someone has come and shut the door. It is killing our business.”

Mr Smith, who is recovering from a kidney transplant after his son Herbie donated his own organ earlier this year, understood it would be another potentially crippling two weeks until the traffic lights were pushed back allowing him to open his front entrance.

However a statement from Persimmon said it would be Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes Anglia, said: “We apologise for the inconvenience while these essential works are taking place.

“Works are running to programme and the main access to the pub is scheduled to be re-opened next Tuesday.

“In the meantime, an alternative access is available and we have installed signage to ensure people are aware that the pub is open for business as usual. We would encourage all neighbouring residents to continue to support this valued local business.”

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