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Business owners slam £3m refurbishment of Croydon Restaurant Quarter

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BUSINESS owners in South End have criticised the £3 million refurbishment of the Restaurant Quarter as a poorly finished flood risk.

The works started in March with disruption causing businesses to suffer as takings dropped over the summer peak season.

And now the works are almost finished, a number of businesses are unhappy and fear they have been left vulnerable to flooding.

Alfonso Camisotti, president of the South Croydon Business Association, said: "It has been very expensive and disruptive with poor design, poor management and extremely poor materials."

He said "low standard" materials were used for the works and the pavement was already stained and cracked just months after it was laid.

Mr Camisotti, who has run the Audio Centre Croydon on South End since 1971, has written to the Mayor of London outlining his concerns. He also said kerbs on the street have crumbled after lorries and cars have driven over them, notably at the corners of Spices Yard car park.

Mr Camisotti is also concerned the works have left the street likely to flood, with water pooling in various places along the street.

And he is not the only one with concerns. Pat Mohan, head teacher at Croydon Metropolitan College on South End, fears his college will flood after the kerb outside was taken away during the works.

Mr Mohan said: "This is an issue for us as we have experienced flooding in the past and it is clear this will happen again if the pavements are left the same level as the road, as they are now."

He added the pavement next to the college's gate had been left unfinished and unattractive, and a paving slab which cracked had been removed and replaced with tarmac. "It does not look great as it is outside of the front of the college," he said.

Not everyone is unhappy though. Anthony Waldbaum, a retired architect, has lived in South Croydon for more than 30 years and is a member of the South Croydon Community Association (SCCA) committee.

Mr Waldbaum thinks the refurbishment will improve the street, but he said communication from the council during the works could have been better.

He said: "There has been public consultation but I think it was the minimum required. There are small niggling things which they may well be addressing but until I talk to them I don't know."

A council spokesman said road improvement works will be finished by the end of November but they will return in the new year to fix any defects.

In response to concerns regarding flooding and the cracked, stained pavement, he said: "We are confident the improved layout and enhanced design will resolve any draining issues.

"Residents and traders can rest assured these [cracks and stains] are being attended to."

The Restaurant Quarter revamp includes work to widen pavements and resurface roads in Selsdon Road, and £50,000 of work to improve 46 building fronts by March 2015.

The council will also be planting 16 trees, and adding seating and cycle parking.

Business owners slam £3m refurbishment of Croydon Restaurant Quarter


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