AN elderly woman was badly injured when she slipped and fell in a notoriously dangerous shopping centre.
Businesses and shoppers who use Sudbury’s Borehamgate Precinct have long complained about the centre’s tiled flooring – and now it has claimed its latest victim.
An 85-year-old woman from Great Cornard suffered injuries to her head and ribs when she slipped on the wet tiles earlier this month. She also lost her hearing as a result of the fall.
The fall has prompted her carer, Bett Hodgson, also from Great Cornard, to call for improvements to the centre to be bought forward before someone else is hurt.
“She has a huge bump on her head, badly bruised ribs and has suffered dizzy spells since,” said Mrs Hodgson.
“It has really affected her and the poor woman has lost her independence.
“She used to be very active, but now she can’t be left on her own. I used to visit once a week to do some cleaning and care for her, but I have been in every day since the fall.”
In November, the Local Shopping REIT, which owns the centre, had an application to carry out an extensive refurbishment programme approved by Babergh District Council.
Under the plans, the company intends to replace the existing glazed roof, extend the ground floor to incorporate a new retail unit and change both the floor and wall tiles.
The company says it hopes to start work on the project this summer, but Mrs Hodgson is pleading for the improvements to be brought forward.
“It has gone on too long,” said Mrs Hodgson. “Somebody could die from a serious fall if they bang their head.”
Chris Moulden, head of asset management at the Local Shopping REIT, said the company was “fully committed” to the refurbishment – the first phase of which will start in July.
“Following the successful completion of phase one, we will look to undertake further work to both the interior and exterior of the centre,” he said.
“This will be phased over a period of time so as to minimise disruption to visitors and tenants, and to ensure that business can continue as usual.”