In October 2018, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) initiated the multimillion-pound Townside and Hunger Hill improvement scheme in Poole, which the pubco argued ‘there was no warning or consultation prior’ to.
Brewhouse & Kitchen (B&K) chief executive Kris Gumbrell said: “During the period of constructions there was almost constant noise, dust, reduced parking around the pub and inhibited access for guests. We’ve had 14 to 15 months of absolute agony there.”
Cut the power
Gumbrell explained the pub endured two power losses as a result of the roadworks, which forced the pub to close temporarily and, therefore, sustain cash and stock losses.
One of power cuts was the result of the works conducted by the councils contractor, Mildren, which hit a power line in January 2019, and the other was by the council's own employees in August last year.
Gumbrell continued: “Each closure and loss resulted in costs such as destroyed food stock, disposal of beer in fermenters, deposits returned, team wages, and contractor call-out fees, both incidents involved costs of around £8,000.”
The pubco boss explained they had applied for discretionary rates relief for the loss of trade, but this was rejected by the council.
He said: “After a ridiculous amount of time wasted chasing their insurers and emailing councillors, liability has been conceded by the council insurers for the incident on 5 August, but the council’s contractor has rejected an identical claim for the incident in January because there was no actual damage to a property – utterly ridiculous.”
A BCP spokesperson said: “This matter is subject to ongoing legal proceedings and it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”
However, Gumbrell said that the pub is back up and trading well after a successful Christmas but is still poised to sue the council for the cost of the loss of power caused by the contractors – and the principle of the matter.
He added: “If we were an independent tenant, we would've gone under. You would’ve not got through this an independent trader."