Hastings business owner’s frustration as skip blocks his shop for 16 months

A Hastings business owner claims he has been losing trade due to a skip which has been placed outside his shop for the past 16 months.

Monday, 8th February 2021, 12:44 pm

Approximately two weeks before Graeme Williams opened his Stand Up Paddleboarding and Surfing shop, in White Rock, Hastings, in September 2019, a skip was placed in the parking space directly outside.

Graeme raised the issue with East Sussex Highways and local councillors but, more than 16 months on, his shop front remains obscured and he says he is losing trade as a result.

“The siting of the skip has in no doubt had a detrimental affect on my business,” he said. “Fortunately, we do a lot of business online and our customers know where we are but this is frustrating.

Graeme Williams is pictured next to the skip that's obscuring his shop front, White Rock, Hastings. SUS-210302-114350001

“What I’ve discovered speaking to councillors and East Sussex Highways is that, as long as people are willing to pay for a permit and a parking bay suspension, then there is nothing I can do. It will be granted regardless of its impact.

“We are of course currently closed due to lockdown, but we are still operating online and also offering a click and collect service. But, we hope to be opening in March or April, and there is no end in sight to building works and the location of the skip.”

Graeme said the skip is regularly emptied and replaced but there have been occasions when his shop window has been smashed by bricks which were used to hold down a tarpaulin over the skip.

The skip is also used for waste from other locations – including damp, mouldy furnishings – which Graeme says often remain on site for weeks.

In recent days, the skip has been moved slightly left of the shop but Graeme says this solution has been used before, only for it to be moved back in front of his shop when it is replaced.

Graeme added: “My business is about engaging people with our beautiful coastline. We actively encourage people onto the water in a safe manor, providing lessons and equipment which improve their mental and physical wellbeing. We promote a love of our wonderful coastline and the benefits it offers to your health.

“This skip blocks anyone seeing my business from the seafront which is a major problem in the summer. During those months in 2020, we had to open the door because otherwise it looks like we’re shut. But we ended up with sand, dust and dirt from the skip blowing into the shop.

“My business is also blocked from view for passing traffic. 16 months on and there is still no sign to the end of building works.

“It’s so frustrating that there’s nothing we can do about it.”