BUSINESSMEN in Butcher’s Row are fuming over petty rulings which are putting their livelihoods at risk.
Iain Angus, lettings managing director, Newton Fallowell, contacted the Journal after his business lost vehicular access to the premises when Lincolnshire County Council put bollards at either end of Butcher’s Row.
Mr Angus contacted the county council to explain his concerns and to ask if a key could be provided for the bollards to allow access but he was refused.
He said: “Last year we had a refit and builders needed to be parked here but now that can’t happen. Then you’ve got deliveries which need to be made for ourselves and other businesses here.
“It has been decided that vehicles are not to come along here so these businesses in this small area of Grantham are to be victimised by not being allowed full access to their premises.”
Brian Thompson of Lincolnshire Highways said: “We carried out a consultation which revealed that people were generally in favour of making the street pedestrianised, which is what we did, installing bollards at each end of the road.
“Because some drivers were still continuing to drive through the gap we put in additional bollards. We do not give out keys for the public to remove the bollards, but if requested we’ll arrange for the bollards to be removed if access is required for large scale operations.”
Michael Brown, owner of iNoodles in Butchers Row is also angry after being told the tables and chairs outside his premises are causing a nuisance.
Mr Brown said: “They keep saying they are trying to promote a cafe culture when all they are really trying to do is turn the screw to get more money.
“It costs me £80 for a licence but now they are saying it will be £200 to apply for tables and chairs.”
Area highways manager Mark Heaton said the council are aware of Mr Brown’s situation. He added: “We have to be confident that what he is proposing would not compromise anyone’s safety at all. He has had the offer of support to help him with the application process if required
“We are more than happy to do all we can to encourage a street café culture but he does need to follow the same application process as everyone else.
“As long as the correct information is supplied to us on the application form, there are no objections from stakeholders and members of the public, the whole process typically takes two to three months.”
Grantham Business Club chairman Bijal Ladva said local authorities should be helping businesses, not hindering them.
He said: “Anything that puts further stress and strain on businesses trying to make ends meet and make money is ridiculous really.
“Our local authorities should be helping businesses in these difficult times and not making things harder for them.”