A FORMER wrestling champion and his bodybuilder wife are leading a village campaign against a road closure which they say is “blighting their lives”.

Kent Highway Services (KHS) has closed part of Horton Road in South Darenth while developer Fairview New Homes Ltd builds 235 houses and flats on the site of a former mill.

But business owners and residents say the road closure is crippling the village, and want KHS to re-open the road with temporary traffic lights to control the flow of vehicles.

Former wrestler Wayne Bridges, aged 60, and his wife Sarah, aged 38, a bodybuilding champion, own The Bridges pub and say the road closure, at the junction of New Road, is "crippling" business.

Mr Bridges, who wrestled for American powerhouse WWE in the 1980s and has owned the pub for 13 years, said: “My customers can’t get here because of the road closure.

“Since the road closure began in January, my takings have been down £5,000 a month from last year. I’ll go out of business if the road does not open again by the end of the year.”

When Fairview got planning permission from Sevenoaks District Council, a condition was that the facade of the old mill remained in place for historic reasons.

Fairview has placed concrete supports around the facade to protect it during construction, and a KHS spokesman said this means there is “inadequate width for the road to remain open safely”.

But Mr Bridges says the road is wide enough for one-way traffic, and has asked KHS to remove the barriers and introduce traffic lights instead.

The KHS spokesman said the road is expected to be re-opened in October or November.

For Andrew Barrett, who lives in New Road, the road closure could have been fatal, as when he had a stroke five weeks ago the ambulance could not get through the barriers.

He said: “The ambulance had to turn around and find another way to Darent Valley Hospital, which added five minutes onto the journey.”

The 71-year-old added: “According to Kent Highway Services, someone from Fairview on the construction site is supposed to open the barrier for the emergency services.

“It was just after 9am, but nobody came out to open the barrier. If it happens again with someone who is critically ill, they could die because of the time wasted at the barrier.”

Mr Barrett was in hospital for two days and made a full recovery. Nobody from Fairview was available to comment.