Upset as seafront road is to close over summer

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Businesses and residents have criticised the timing of roadworks that will see a seafront road closed for more than four weeks over the summer.

Herbrand Walk will be closed from the property at number 8 to Cooden Sea Road from July 18 to August 20 to allow Southern Gas Networks to carry out mains replacement works.

Businesses, including the nearby Cooden Beach Hotel, are concerned about the impact the works will have during what is the height of the tourist season.

Lesley Kimber, from the Cooden Beach Hotel, said: “It’s a bit of a nightmare really.

“Not only will there be noise disruption but it may cause problems accessing our car park.

“We are fully-booked over the summer and have weddings and events with plenty of guests – where are they supposed to park if they can’t access our car park?

“What about disabled people, parents with young children, and guests with heavy cases? They don’t want to park miles away and walk. It will cause problems in the surrounding roads.

“They haven’t given us enough notice to put a contingency plan in place.

“If something were to go wrong – like they hit a gas pipe during the work – it could really affect our business in a negative way.

“I don’t see why they couldn’t have carried out the work in October or January. It’s taking place right over the school summer holidays. It’s the busiest time of year.”

Mrs Kimber was keen to let people know that the hotel and its restaurant are open for business as usual during the works, and all efforts will be made by the hotel to keep the car park open throughout.

A spokesman for East Sussex Highways said: “Utility companies need to maintain and upgrade their pipes, cables and equipment and have a right to do so.

“When we issue permits for planned work, we limit the number in any area to minimise disruption to residents and businesses.

“There are conditions placed on permits we issue and we regularly monitor sites to ensure utility and their contractors are adhering to these.”

A spokesman for Southern Gas Networks said it had been communicating closely with the local authority and people affected in order to minimise any disruption.

A diversion route will be in place via Cooden Sea Road, Barnhorn Road, Marsh Road, Pevensey Haven Roundabout and Sluice Lane.