Milton Street closure extended as Queen Avenue pub fireplace clears, Gravesend corporations dread individual bankruptcy

Enterprise owners dread they could go bankrupt as the four-7 days road closure extends.

Milton Road in Gravesend was shut on May possibly 26 immediately after a fireplace brought on a previous pub to collapse in the street.

Operator Jack Kamenou (still left) problems about the store’s potential.Picture: Matthew Walker

It is expected to reopen at 5pm on Friday 10 June but Kent Highways has confirmed the closure will carry on right until 6pm on Wednesday 6 July.

Jack Kamenou, who owns the Reliance Fish cafe on Queen Avenue, said he feared the cafe would close since customers couldn’t get into the avenue.

“We have been right here for 102 many years, but it appears to be like like we’re going broke,” he stated. “It’s really lousy. Covid knows absolutely nothing about it, it really is awful.

“It can be unbelievable and we require assistance. It took (the homeowners and council) 4 months to appear to an settlement, but at the exact same time, the full town is suffering.

“When persons see hurdles, they just do not bother to get down. Everybody is in a way of thinking that is still shut.

“When the highway was shut to pedestrians, our revenue was down 90 for every cent, but now we are down all-around 70 for each cent. It’s not much from us and we’re all going to be stuck.

Scaffolding has been set up.Image: Jack Kamenu
Scaffolding has been set up.Graphic: Jack Kamenu

“I worked for nearly two several years devoid of a day off, and it held us back again. At the close of the day, we have been left exterior to dry.”

The 55-year-old, who has worked at the cafe for 35 several years, is previously experience the pinch of rising fish and oil prices, outlining that the shipping and delivery provider is also canceling orders since they you should not consider they can get into the restaurant.

Jack added: “It has taken 4 weeks for the reason that it is a Grade II mentioned setting up and there is almost nothing to save. It could have been cleaned up in three days. The house owners want it cleaned up as shortly as feasible.

“My disabled prospects cannot park exterior, they can’t appear down to me. You can stroll on the street but the indicators nevertheless say you are unable to.

“It influences all the shops in the clock tower, there should really be at the very least 30 to 40 stores. I know the previous setting up needs to be saved, but it does not destruction the 40 stores.”

“The conclusion of this city is like a no man’s land, it is horrible. On Tuesdays, I’m open up from 11 and I generally have 30+ shoppers, but I experienced two.

“It was awful. I worked 7 times a 7 days to hold this retail store open up for two decades and now it is out of my hands. I put my arms in my pockets for four months to hold it open. I had to leave to enter my cost savings.

The road is expected to be closed until July 6. Image: Jack Kamenou
The road is envisioned to be shut until finally July 6. Picture: Jack Kamenou

“What we are asking them to do is set up scaffolding, put some blockades about it, and open up up the highway.”

Routes by way of the city centre ended up closed on May perhaps 26 following a fireplace at the former New Inn Pub on the junction with Queen Street.

Firefighters have been at the scene for about 24 several hours right after the blaze broke out about 1 p.m. At peak occasions, 9 hearth vans and one higher-altitude automobile have been in attendance.

By 4 p.m., that amount experienced been minimized to seven engines and peak automobiles, and crews continued to douse the flames and cut off any very hot spots.

By 8:30pm, it experienced shrunk to 6 staff who had been rolling about and relaxing as the bring about was investigated.

Firefighters watched the scene overnight to make absolutely sure the fireplace did not reignite and to continue to keep the scene secure.

Remnants of the old New Inn pub, Friday, May 27
Remnants of the old New Inn pub, Friday, May possibly 27

Staff members are however checking the remains and investigating how it commenced the future morning.

Operations by the Kent Hearth and Rescue Provider were being not brought to a comprehensive halt until finally 12.30pm on May possibly 27, with a spokesman expressing: “The fire is considered to be brought about by an electrical fault.”

Ha Tran, owner of neighbouring Asian Marketplace, added: “This has a significant effect on us. A lot of people are not certain if they can come below, they you should not want to break the law by accomplishing so. They will not know how to get below.

“We have shed a lot of bargains, but we nevertheless have to pay back rent and bills. It’s genuinely undesirable and we you should not know how extensive it is going to past.

“It really is cut our cash flow by about 50 percent. For Asian foodstuff, we have a good deal of huge luggage of rice and sauces, and if people can’t park outside the house, it truly is far too significant to invest in and have to the auto. Roads want to be accomplished ASAP, it It has had an impression.”

Jas Willis, supervisor of The Cake Box on Milton Highway, also documented a fall in orders and patronage.

The Cake Box manager Jas Willis (left) said business had been affected.Image: Phil Lee
The Cake Box supervisor Jas Willis (left) stated enterprise experienced been affected.Graphic: Phil Lee

She mentioned: “A large amount of folks are parked exterior the store, you can find much less foot traffic and business has long gone downhill. I never see us heading out of company, but it is really certainly impacting us.

“Father’s Day, we are not as occupied as in preceding decades, the sooner we open up the highway, the greater.

“I know it has to be risk-free, but at the exact time it truly is hurting enterprises.”

But not every person sees this, with Eve King, who owns the Queen Road Sewing Centre, explained she isn’t going to see a difference in her sales.

She extra: “It does not influence me. There are individuals crying on the street, but men and women who want my certain item know where by to find me.”

Kent Highways indicated that option routes are out there.

The remains of the building when it collapsed on the street on Friday, May 27
The stays of the constructing when it collapsed on the avenue on Friday, May well 27

The streets impacted are Harmer Street, Milton Street, Ordnance Street, Edwin Street, Berkley Street, West Crescent Highway and The Grove.

A spokesman for Gravesham City Council reported: “We are conscious of the problems, inconvenience and effects the fires and developing collapses have experienced on community enterprises and transport in the town.

“The business precinct on Queen Road has pedestrian access and the highway community has transformed to aid automobile entry from the northern stop of Queen Road.

“We confirmed with owners a few weeks ago what steps they need to have to just take to defend and protected the internet site in line with their lawful duties for a Grade II mentioned creating.

“Whilst this is having lengthier than predicted, we are delighted to see that get the job done has begun and we will proceed to urge owners to entire these steps as shortly as possible, which also signifies Milton Street can reopen.

“Our sympathies are with people organizations affected by the fires and will do our very best to ensure operate carries on on-web page to reopen roads and pathways.

“Influenced organizations must contact their insurers to see if they can file a business interruption insurance plan claim.”

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