Works to improve power supplies in Wrangle have been rearranged after a disgruntled business owner claimed they could leave him ‘tens of thousands’ of pounds out of pocket if they went ahead as planned.
Andrew Lenton, owner of Chanson Flowers on Nut Lane, said Western Power Distribution’s (WPD) plans to close Nut and Sea Lanes from May 17, would cut off his business from two key directions at the busiest time of the year.
He told The Standard that his nursery which has been open since 2005, was effectively ‘an island’ between the two roads, adding: “Closing both the roads will be like having both arms cut off.”
He said: “We would like the work to be delayed for two-three weeks until our busy period is over, this inconvenience could cost us ten of thousands of pounds, because of our customers not being able to find us, but also may go to different garden centres to buy their plants, we may lose their business in the future.”
He said he had heard of farmers being consulted on the closures, but had not been spoken to himself, until after he received a letter telling him of the works at the beginning of last week.
Although a diversion route was to be put in place via Shaw and Moat Lanes, Mr Lenton believed the chosen route would be unsuitable for the up to eight-10 vans, 7.5 tonne lorries a day he expects in May.
He said he believed customers would be put off going to his business by having to following the diversion.
A spokesman for WPD said the work, part of a £145,000 investment to ‘improve the electricity supplies for hundreds of customers in and around Wrangle’, had been agreed with Lincolnshire County Council.
They said: “The road network is too narrow to allow our cable laying works to proceed without a road closure according to highways regulations.”
They said road closure notices had been advertised and signage will be in place in the area in advance of the work.
They said they had delivered letters to all local residents and businesses in the area.
Furthermore, they added their local team manager had met with Mr Lenton to look at ways in which they could ‘try to ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum’ and had also agreed to erect some business open as usual signs at the ends of the road.
The company however, later told the Standard that: “After speaking with Mr Lenton as well as our contractors, we have made arrangements to alter our work programme so that Nut Lane and Sea Lane are closed at different times to ease any disruption in the area.
“Our work will start on May 17 as planned, with Nut Lane closed for about a week to allow us to dig and lay cable as detailed in the earlier statement.
“Once complete (expected date Monday, May 23, or Tuesday, May 24), Nut Lane will re-open and work will start on Sea Lane, which will then close until no later than June 3.
“We are due to speak with Mr Lenton to confirm the arrangements shortly and hope that this will allay some of his concerns.”