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Road closure in Hellesdon for four and a half months begins today

Staff and shop owners at Hellesdon Barns are angry that they hadn't been consulted about the closure of Hellesdon Hall Road. Left to right, Rebecca Walker from Dotty Pottery, Maria Baker from Curtains and Curiosities, Rebecca Benfield from The Gluten Free Shop, Magnolia Assis-Millbank from The Shackleton Cafe, Paul Millbank from Millbank Sectional Buildings and Pot Mania, Connor Eastell from Hellesdon Barns and Tina Self from Wooly Wotnots.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Staff and shop owners at Hellesdon Barns are angry that they hadn't been consulted about the closure of Hellesdon Hall Road. Left to right, Rebecca Walker from Dotty Pottery, Maria Baker from Curtains and Curiosities, Rebecca Benfield from The Gluten Free Shop, Magnolia Assis-Millbank from The Shackleton Cafe, Paul Millbank from Millbank Sectional Buildings and Pot Mania, Connor Eastell from Hellesdon Barns and Tina Self from Wooly Wotnots. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

Closure of a crucial route to local businesses in Hellesdon will begin today for four and a half months in a move local businesses say will obliterate their summer trade.

Signs warning of the closure of Hellesdon Hall Road to allow for an access point to be built for the new Wickes store took neighbours by surprise, but despite their appeals work will press on as planned - and could be four weeks longer than expected.

The notices put up along the road towards the end of last month described a 14 week closure, but were later revised to up to 18 weeks.

Paul Millbank, owner of Hellesdon Barns, said not only would 10 businesses be under threat, but delivery trucks would be forced along the Low Road as a result.

After an appeal was dismissed, Mr Millbank says he is going to be “cut off completely”, and his wife may have to take up a second job.

“They all keep passing the buck and nobody wants to take responsibility for their decisions,” he said. “Even if we fight it legally; at what cost?

“The coffee shop and gluten free shop could be very badly affected. If that happens my wife has a degree in interpretation, so she can do that to help get us through. We have to do whatever is necessary to get us through the summer period. We are getting cut off through the summer and will have to try to survive another winter.

“We have recently put £6,000 worth of food products into the store, and there is the potential that can go to waste if people don’t come. 
“Where it is going to be hard is accepting deliveries on site. Coming right round a three mile diversion and to the Low Road will cause issues, because some of these are big lorries.”

The road closure was applied for by the developers and granted by Norwich City Council.

A spokesman for Wickes said: “Following development works in advance of a new Wickes store opening in Norwich, at the request of the local authority it has been necessary to close a nearby access road. Considered to be the safest option in order to complete upgrade works to both the road and traffic light junction, public access to local businesses has been made available. The works taking place are part of a wider redevelopment project that will benefit the community long-term. We understand current frustration and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of the closure.”


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