Tea Beside the Sea manager’s roof woe

Tea Beside The Sea employee Tanya Smith and Graham Potter, who has Unit 4 and 2 at The Colonnade
Tea Beside The Sea employee Tanya Smith and Graham Potter, who has Unit 4 and 2 at The Colonnade

The manager of a much-loved tearoom wants the council to take action to fix her leaky roof.

Janet Van Den Bussche, of Tea Beside the Sea, says rainwater constantly leaks through the ceiling of the shop in The Colonnade and neighbouring retail premises.

Janet says the leak has been there since she moved in, nearly four years ago.

She said: “I thought the leak started when the building was rebuilt. But the chap who previously had it as a tea shop said it had leaked for many years.”

Janet added: “The council is in the process of putting in a trench upstairs and they hope that will stop the leak.

“But a trench used to be there and it still leaked.

“We have had to move our counters and cabinets because the rain just pours in.”

Janet says no one from the council has been in to inspect the leaking roof ‘for at least two years’. Tea Beside the Sea’s lease runs out in October and Janet is in the process of applying for a new lease.

A Rother District Council spokesman said: “We are currently inviting expressions of interest from businesses wishing to take over the Colonnade when the existing tenancy expires in the autumn.

“The contractor who worked on the original refurbishment of the building did resolve most of the issues of water penetration, however, stopping any water at all from leaking into a building which is over 100 years old and built into an embankment may prove challenging. The current rent for the premises reflected the fact that this was an issue.

“We are currently working at two areas outside the building to try and stop water from leaking in and will be carrying out work inside before the new tenancy begins to try and mitigate the problem.

“All the interested parties who have asked to view the Colonnade have been made aware that there is a minor issue of water leaking in and to date none have expressed any concerns about this.”

The spokesman added the council had received ‘considerable interest’ in the lease of the building.

Any interested parties are invited to register their interest in the building by emailing regeneration@rother.gov.uk by no later than Friday, March 18.

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