Shop-owner says redevelopment work in Bromley North has caused his business to close down (From News Shopper)
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Shop-owner says redevelopment work in Bromley North has caused his business to close down
A BROMLEY shop-owner says his business will close because redevelopment work in Bromley North has resulted in a significant drop in customers.
Mark van der Hoogenband has owned The Ink Company in Bromley High Street since July 2007.
The business was a successful one, and the 42-year-old was even considering opening another store.
Redevelopment work initially began in August but was delayed until January following issues with water pipes.
Father-of-two Mr van der Hoogenband said: "When the works started last August they closed off half of the road.
"The closure of the road caused a drop in sales compared with previous years of around 25 per cent.
"They closed the road again in January and we have seen a massive drop in sales.
"Compared with January last year we are 20 per cent down."
Mr van der Hoogenband, from Woking, says the works mean there are no buses going past the shop and fewer people are coming in.
The road will be closed to buses until early next year.
He said: "If we ask customers how you find us, they say they were driving past, they were walking past, most of the time they say we saw you from the bus."
A former treasurer of Bromley North Traders Association, Mr van der Hoogenband says last trading day for the Ink Company will be February 26.
He added: "I can understand why the renovations are happening but I don't understand why it is going on for such a long time.
"Last Tuesday I went past and there were two people there. On Thursday there were no people there. On Friday there were two people there. How do they expect to get anything done?
"I employ one sale assistant three times a week and he is going to lose his job."
Regular customer Jo Dufranes, 50, of Homesdale Road said: "I feel it is terrible because he is a successful business.
"He has excellent service, the best customer service I have ever experienced.
"The council are killing off the businesses."
Vice Chair of Bromley North Traders Association Tonina Hoang said: "I know Mark's business was perfectly viable before the works, in fact he had plans for expansion.
"As a Traders Association we are disappointed the impact has been so great. And it has been so drawn out.
"I know of other businesses that are closing, others are on the brink. It is a case that the council need to hold the contractors accountable for their work."
Leader of the Council Stephen Carr said: "We are of course sympathetic whenever we hear of a business closing its doors.
"The Council is committed to ensuring the vitality of Bromley North Village which is precisely why we are carrying out the £5.5 million scheme to enhance the public realm, boost footfall and encourage new businesses to the area, following significant consultation with local businesses.
"The next stage of work in Market Square, East Street and the High Street is well underway and on schedule despite the recent weather.
"This comes at a time when all other towns across the country have felt the effects of a changing High Street and unprecedented financial pressures, so we all need to work closely together to ensure the future of our High Streets and town centres."
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