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‘It’s horrendous’ – How charity has been hit by sewer works

PUBLISHED: 13:51 01 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:51 01 March 2020

Margaret Oldham, chairman of Lowestoft Shopmobility, as the works take place outside the store. Picture: Lowestoft Shopmobility

Margaret Oldham, chairman of Lowestoft Shopmobility, as the works take place outside the store. Picture: Lowestoft Shopmobility

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A disability charity claims extended waterworks are shaking its store so much it feels like the building will collapse as it is killing passing trade.

Anglian Water started work to repair a damaged sewer and manhole at Commercial Road on the A47 in Lowestoft on January 16.

The works were expected to last for eight weeks, but the completion date has now been moved back until the end of March "due to unforeseen complications".

The charity, Lowestoft Shopmobility - which provides mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs from its base at Station Square - says the works are now costing it business.

Over the past six weeks it has been faced with a "pretty desperate situation" as Anglian Water repairs the sewer right outside their store.

Margaret Oldham, chairman of Lowestoft Shopmobility, said: "We are losing all our passing trade on which we depend to run the charity, as no-one is going past. We estimate that this will amount to at least £1,000 by the time the work is now scheduled to finish.

"The smell and noise is terrible, and when they use their JCBs the whole of our building is shaking - it feels as if it will collapse.

"I have asked if Anglian Water can give us some compensation, as if it continues much longer it could see the end of a charity which has been in Lowestoft for 23 years.

"We are losing so much money, it's just horrendous as it is making life so difficult.

"When you go on their website and see they are all about supporting the community and charities, well this is a time we want your help as this is crippling us."

An Anglian Water spokesman said: "Unfortunately, due to unforeseen complications with the excavation, work is now expected to be completed by the end of March.

"However, due to the localised nature of the work area, there is currently no impact on service and customers can still continue to use their toilets and washing machines as normal.

"We're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, and we'd like to thank local residents for their continued patience and understanding while we make these vital repairs."

The spokesman added that Anglian Water are "liaising with" Lowestoft Shopmobility with regard to a meeting next week.

The latest works are taking place close to repairs that Anglian Water had to make last year when a sinkhole appeared in the town centre.

For the ongoing works, a lane closure is currently in place on Commercial Road, meaning there is no left turn into Commercial Road at the junction with the A47.

A full diversion route is in place to ensure that local road users can still continue to turn right into Commercial Road.

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