Stench leaves bad taste for businesses

THE STENCH of stagnant water has been causing increasing concern to businesses in a popular shopping area on Moreton Hall.

For weeks, the drain outside the back of Tesco Express, in Lawson Place, has been blocked, After heavy downpours, water has collected and the smell has got gradually worse.

Staff at Niko’s takeaway and Croasdales chemist, in nearby Tallou Court, claim that it became blocked after recent alterations at the Tesco store. But just who is responsible for unblocking the drain is not clear.

To use the area Nicos Mercouris, who owns the takeaway and the chemist which he leases out, pays rent to Starprop LLP, a London-based company that bought Lawson Place from St Edmundsbury Borough Council three years ago.

Tesco, which does not pay rent, has been given a right of access and is allowed to use the area for loading and unloading.

A Tesco spokesman said that he had contacted Starprop to make it aware of the situation and get the matter resolved.

Mr Mercouris said: “According to the lease it’s my responsibility to clear the drain and share the bill between the chemist, Tesco and me but I don’t feel I should have to and I don’t feel it would be fair on the chemist.”

“It has to be moved, it’s just a case of who pays to have it done,” said Croasdales manager, Ali Curd, adding that the bad smell had prevented the chemist from opening its windows and fire door.

Yesterday, following an environmental health complaint and ‘as a gesture’, the borough council was due to send a gully clearing vehicle to the area but, a council spokeswoman said, if the gully was clear ‘it would mean that there is a problem with the drainage which is the responsibility of the landowner’.