Local authorities

Nightmare roadworks: Slammed council told to 'have a heart' after not compensating struggling pub

By Oli Gross

- Last updated on GMT

Nightmare roadworks: Slammed council told to 'have a heart' after not compensating struggling pub

Related tags Public house Road

A council has been slammed for not compensating a licensee who faces closure due to nightmare roadworks, after it emerged tram-line construction in the area resulted in other businesses being given financial support for loss of trade.

Jason Birch of the Station Hotel pub in Hucknall has estimated he is out of pocket to the tune of £20,000 because of disruption which has been ongoing since January.

The work meant the pub has been surrounded by fences and the car park forced to close. Local community groups have stopped using the venue and several profitable events have been cancelled.

'Have a heart'

Nottinghamshire County Council’s decision not to compensate the pub has been criticised by local county councillor John Wilmott, who pointed out  when a recent tram route was built by the council, local businesses were paid compensation.

“The trading at most public houses is difficult at this present time and I know this person at the Station Hotel invested a considerable amount of money to give a service to the people of Hucknall,” Wilmott said.

“He invested in Hucknall now he needs help, come on council have a heart.”


Council unmoved

The council told the PMA​ that the construction on the tram extension was a far more extensive project than the current roadworks, and financial assistance was agreed between the two promoting authorities and a budget provision made in advance.

But Wilmott still support’s the licensee’s claim: “It is common knowledge that when extensive road works are seen by the general public they avoid the area, and having spoken to the publican it is obvious that he is suffering and he does not know if he will be able to survive.”


When the PMA ​went to the council to enquire about the precedent set by the tramline, a spokesman said: “This is an issuethat we don’t want to discuss any more than we have already done so.”

Birch took on the lease of the pub with Star Pubs & Bars last year and said he had no idea the roadworks were scheduled.

'The future looks bleak'

He told the PMA​: “They definitely do not want to talk about the issue any more as they want it to go away, unfortunately for us our debts that have occurred in direct result of the roadworks won't go away We are living week by week at the moment.

“The past three months have been horrendous, if the road works had never of happened we would of been ok, but we owe money to VAT and utilities in the sum of £15,000.

“If we don't get some luck in regards of trade returning or a windfall from somewhere the future looks bleak.”

station hotel 3

After the PMA’s ​original query to the council about the roadworks last week, Neil Hodgson, the County Council’s service director for highways explained the council’s decision.

'No legal grounds'

He said: “The roadworks on Linby Road near to the Station Hotel are part of the first phase of the long-awaited Hucknall Town Centre Improvement Scheme which will regenerate the town and bring significant benefits to the area as a whole.

“This investment in the town, which improves junctions and pedestrianises part of the High Street, has been long awaited and the whole scheme is due to be completed next Spring.

“The nature of the works meant that a temporary closure of Linby Road was needed. We did look at a partial road closure but this could have meant the works taking significantly longer to complete.

“The Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 gives the County Council, as the traffic authority, the power to close or restrict sections of road to vehicles so that work can take place on or near the road and there are no legal grounds for us to accept claims for loss of trade.

“The works are now complete and the road resurfaced. We worked as quickly and efficiently as possible and kept disruption to a minimum.

“Representatives from the County Council and its contractors also met with the publican and the brewery to discuss their concerns and the scheme’s public liaison officer kept them informed throughout the works.

"There are no legal grounds for the County Council to accept claims for loss of trade, but we appreciate everyone's patience at this time and hope everyone will benefit from the completed road scheme."

Business rates

A spokesman for the Station Hotel’s pubco, Star Pubs & Bars, added: “We are fully supportive of Jason and Louise, a hardworking team who have built a good reputation for the Station Hotel.

“Recognising these very frustrating circumstances, which are beyond their control, we are doing what we can to help them through the immediate challenges of the road works. We are also working closely with Jason and the council to get his business rates reduced.”

Is the council's decision justified? Email: oli.gross@wrbm.com

Related topics Licensing law

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