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Staplegrove Post Office seeks compensation for roadworks
THE owner of Staplegrove Post Office is fighting for compensation after he says roadworks cost his business more than £2,000.
Kalpesh Patel and manager Wendy Betty asked Taunton Deane Council to reimburse the shop for their losses while Wessex Water work was carried out around their premises.
A petition has been signed by around 300 people supporting Mr Kalpesh, who has run the post office, on Manor Road, for three-and-a-half-years, but he said he is yet to receive a response from the council.
He told the County Gazette: “Because customers could not use us when the roadworks were on, they went elsewhere and now some of them do not come back.
“I am strong enough to be able to carry on but if it was another person running the post office it could have closed.
“I just want some compensation, either for the council to meet me halfway at £1,000 or at least pay me for a month's rate [£529] to compensate for the four weeks of roadworks.
“I understand the roadworks have to be done but it would be nice if they worked with us.”
In a letter to Taunton Deane Council, Mr Patel says they have had to endure losses to their business for the past four months as water mains work took place along Staplegrove Road.
The final nail in the coffin was four weeks of work along Corkscrew Lane which he said disrupted business and lost him £200 a week profit.
He added: “In the current economic climate it is difficult enough for small businesses like ours to even survive, without the added pressure of losing hundreds of pounds per day through absolutely no fault of our own.
“Not only are we losing money due to this, obviously we are losing customers and there is no guarantee that they will return.
Taunton Deane Council say they responded to Mr Patel's letters twice and asked him to apply for a reduction through their valuation office.
In their guidelines, it states as a general rule a 'material change of circumstances', including roadworks, would need to last at least six months before they could consider it having an impact.
Somerset County Council apologised for any disruption but was unable to offer compensation as they say Manor Road was not closed until after the Post Office entrance with access via Staplegrove Road being unaffected.
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