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Work to reconnect supermarket’s power delayed by Anglia Square revamp fears

PUBLISHED: 10:16 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:16 19 July 2018

Owner of the Desh Supermarket in Magdalen Street, Abul Hussain, inside the stocked up store which has been closed since February Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Owner of the Desh Supermarket in Magdalen Street, Abul Hussain, inside the stocked up store which has been closed since February Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A Norwich supermarket owner was told work to reconnect his electricity would not be allowed as it could impact Anglia Square’s redevelopment.

The Desh Supermarket in Magdalen Street which has been closed since March. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Desh Supermarket in Magdalen Street which has been closed since March. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Abul Hussain was forced to close Desh World Foods Supermarket on Magdalen Street in February after his power went off.

It has been shut ever since and the 44-year-old claims he has almost £70,000 worth of stock still inside the premises.

UK Power Networks said it has been trying to restore his electricity since April.

But in order for the work to be carried out, the company needs permission to access Anglia Square’s service yard from landowner Columbia Threadneedle.

Stock still on the shelves at the Desh Supermarket in Magdalen Street which has been closed since February Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStock still on the shelves at the Desh Supermarket in Magdalen Street which has been closed since February Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Hussain was told work to reconnect his electricity would not be allowed as it could impact Anglia Square’s redevelopment.

An email from solicitors on behalf of Sackville UK Property Select II, which is a fund managed by Columbia Threadneedle, dated June 1, said: “In this instance, our client is not willing to consent to the proposed works since it is concerned that they would negatively impact on its proposed development of Anglia Square Shopping Centre.”

Another email from solicitors on behalf of Sackville, dated July 5 and sent to Mr Hussain’s solicitor, states he must pay £2,500 plus VAT for the company’s building surveyors to review technical drawings of the work.

It said he must also allow surveyors access to the supermarket.

Desh Supermarket signs. The store has been closed since March. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDesh Supermarket signs. The store has been closed since March. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

But Columbia Threadneedle today confirmed it has agreed to grant access through its land, subject to conditions being met.

A spokesman for the investment firm said: “Columbia Threadneedle has agreed to grant access, provided the correct surveys and legal procedures are carried out by all parties involved.”

A UK Power Networks spokesman said: “Plans were first submitted to the landowner in May and we have provided additional information and a revised plan since then detailing a proposal to install a short cable across private land.

“We share the customer’s desire for the project to progress smoothly and continue seeking the necessary legal rights.”

Columbia Threadneedle hopes to redevelop Anglia Square.

Mr Hussain’s supermarket is not owned by Columbia Threadneedle and will remain in place should the proposals get underway.

His power was initially cut off in December 2017 when he attempted to change his electricity provider from National Gas and Power.

He said the company issued him with a £20,000 bill for what it claimed was unpaid electricity.

Mr Hussain disputed the figure and was unable to pay the full amount immediately.

As a result, he said the company came into his supermarket days later and cut off his supply.

He then had to rely on an external generator to keep his business operational over the following weeks.

But in January he claimed he was told by the landowner to remove the generator from the Anglia Square service yard.

With nowhere else to put it, and no other way to power his supermarket, Mr Hussain was forced to close in February.

National Gas and Power did not respond to requests for comment.

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