A redevelopment of shop fronts in Grangetown started yesterday but some business owners are claiming the one million pound improvement plans will actually cost them their customers.
The work planned includes smartening up shop fronts, building seating and installing new roller-shutters. Shop owners revealed they were contacted by the council and offered up to £50,000 to improve their shops, with a repayment plan of “almost nothing”.
But one such owner, who has asked not to be named, said: “what they failed to mention was the disruption to business of a 20-week period.
“They’ve taken over all this parking and every contractor that’s working on the site has a car. They start early in the morning before the shops open so they take up any available car parking space themselves.
“It has effected business in an unbelievable way. Business has dropped by almost 50 per cent some days because parking is almost unavailable. And the constant queues along Penarth road are never ending.
“We’ve got customers ringing every 5 minutes. How do I get to you, where do I park? Where as that has never happened before.
“Rates are the same, lighting is the same, heating is the same, staff levels are the same but customers, as I say, are some 50 per cent down. How do we pay?”
Grangetown councillor, Chris Lomax said: “It’s an old area and it needs a lot of improvement. When these improvements are complete there will be parking for people who are shopping. It will be free for one hour.”
“At the moment there is double yellow lines along Clare Road so after the development there will be more parking.
Coun Lomax also listed more improvements which will be completed by the redevelopment: “10 shop fronts will be improved, there will be new road furniture, there will be seating for people to sit and rest and there will be some plants and flowers to make the place more attractive.
“The residents are being a little bit pedantic. It’s a little bit of trouble for a long-term benefit. It’s only going to be for 6 months, it should be finished by the end of September or the start of October.”