Business owner angered by road closure between Chard and Ilminster

5:00pm Friday 30th May 2014

By Phil Hill

THE owner of a plant nursery who only set up in business last month is counting his losses after a busy main road was closed for repair work.

The businessman, called Chopper after changing his name by deed poll, also fears a lot of unsold stock will go to waste.

He says trade at Applewood Nursery, opened in mid-April in Sea, between Ilminster and Chard, has virtually dried up.

Chopper said he had no notice of the road closure, adding: “Apparently, they wrote to other people, but they didn’t inform us that they were closing the road.

“The first thing I knew about it was when I tried to get to work about ten days ago and the road was closed, so I had to turn around and go back the other way.

“It’s had a serious impact on my business because people aren’t coming down this road.

“I’ve calculated that I’m 60% down, which is a significant amount, and Bank Holiday trade wasn’t as good as it should have been.”

Chopper claimed he would not have bought in so much stock had he realised the road was going to be closed.

He said: “I have a lot of plants that need to be in the ground, but I haven’t been able to sell them – I wouldn’t have stocked up if I’d known about the road – lots of them will probably go to waste.

“I appreciate that roadworks are necessary, but it’s not right when you aren’t given any advance warning.”

A county council spokeswoman said: “The highways team has been carrying out planned highway drainage improvement works in Sea.

“The works have progressed well and it’s anticipated that the road closure will be lifted ahead of schedule.

“Additional signing relating to local businesses was put up on site at the request of Applewood Nursery during the first week of the road closure.”

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