Frustration at revamp work delay

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PLANS to refurbish a “tired, old and dangerous” shopping centre have been put on hold.

Work to update the Borehamgate Precinct in Sudbury was due to begin in July but the work has been delayed.

The Local Shopping Reit, which owns the precinct, was due to replace the flooring and redesign the existing tiled ramp, where an 85-year-old woman fell earlier this year, injuring her head and ribs.

The centre, which was built in the 1960s, was also due to be redecorated, with a new entrance and signs.

Proposals for the centre, notorious for its slippery flooring, were given planning consent by Babergh District Council in November but work is yet to start.

Retailers and users of the precinct say the work needs to be carried out as soon as possible.

Sally Clark, from The Kiosk, said she has genuine concerns about the safety of some of the elderly shoppers.

She said: “I think it is a real hazard as it does get very slippery, especially in the wet weather.

“A lot of people come through here when they are going in and out of town, it’s a busy walkway and, at the moment, it leaves a bad impression.”

Brad Wright, manager of the Marimba Chocolatier shop, which has a shop and a café in the precinct, said it was tired and old.

He said: “It’s not ideal. The sooner the work is done the better really as the precinct is looking tired and old.

“It’s about time it had a bit of money spent on it.”

Alex Batih, 22, works in the nearby betting shop, Coral.

He said: “The plastic anti-slip stuff they have put on the floor has almost all come off now and it is dangerous.

“We see lots of accidents here and a refurb is long overdue.”

Jack Owen, Sudbury mayor, said he was currently in discussions about how to improve the area surrounding the precinct.

He said: “The slippery floor is a worry and I know there are elderly people who avoid using the precinct because of it.

A spokesman for the Local Shopping Reit said a full tender exercise had recently taken place, with the Giles Oliver Group appointed to complete the work.

“Work can now start progressing with the scheme and we hope to be able to start on site at the end of October,” he said.