Owners of Tamarind Tree restaurant withdraw legal action over Westlegate roadworks
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A city centre restaurant has decided not to proceed with legal action against Norwich City Council despite losing over £10,000 worth of trade during the pedestrianisation of Westlegate.
Owners at The Tamarind Tree Thai restaurant say they were ready and willing to pursue a civil claim against the council for loss of earnings - after construction work caused a year of disruption to their business.
Today, director of The Tamarind Tree Peerada Morgan-Johnson said they didn't want to take any more money from the public purse and will not pursue legal action.
'We thought long and hard about it but decided we are not going to do it, because we do not want to take more money from the local community,' she said.
The work to pedestrianise Westlegate and All Saints Green cost around £3m and was opened to the public in late May and early June of this year.
After the work was complete Mrs Morgan-Johnson said they had been 'penned in' by extensive roadworks and the restaurant made a substantial loss.
'Now we just want to focus on growing our business,' she said. 'There is however many hundreds of thousands of pounds that have gone into that already. With so much wasted over the last year - even though we had a loss of over £10,000 we have listened to public opinion and do not wish to add to the cost.
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'The area looks great now and we are steadily picking up. We are recovering and there will be a gain from the development.
'There was always a chance we could lose and we have got about a third of what we lost back through business rate discounts.
'The money we lost would have been our growth budget and it is still a fairly contentious issue, but we have to get over it to grow.
'It had the short term effect of nearly putting us out of business because we had such a dramatic fall in trade.'
Mrs Morgan-Johnson has urged the council to be more open with businesses for future schemes.
'We just want to draw a line under it now,' she said.
'The loss made it harder to catch up but trade is steadily increasing and we are focusing on growing our business now.'
A spokesman for Transport for Norwich said: 'We appreciate the patience and cooperation of everyone while construction of this large-scale project took place. The transformation in the look and feel of the area is already seeing more people spend time there and we hope the benefits this brings will soon be felt in the city centre and its local economy.'