The owner of an independent fashion retailer in Sudbury has accused a national chain restaurant of letting a main shopping street down.
Traders at the bottom end of Market Hill and along Friars Street have been fighting a long-running battle to increase footfall over the last few years.
First came issues with A-boards used to attract customers. Then, in September 2015, a fire destroyed three business premises and left three others damaged, resulting in the road being closed.
Businesses said they took a large financial hit as the closure and repair work, resulted in reduced footfall.
Jeremy Clayton, owner of fashion retailer Javelin, which has two shops on the street, criticised Pizza Express for the poor condition its exterior has been left in, despite requesting improvements in February last year.
“The paint is peeling off – it’s in a terrible state,” said Mr Clayton.
“It is so off-putting. It’s amazing that a national chain would leave it in that condition.”
The street has numerous independent businesses and Mr Clayton added: “As independents, we try to keep our business premises smart. It brings down and affects the neighbouring properties.”
A spokesman for Pizza Express said: “We are currently reviewing the situation in Sudbury and are in the process of receiving quotes from contractors.
“We should know in the next few weeks whether we are able to press ahead with the transformation to the outside of the building.”