‘It is shut almost every other month’
CREATURE Comforts owner Michelle Botes fears for her livelihood due to the imminent closure of Le Grand Bouet for over two months this summer.
In two stretches of four and five weeks respectively, major works will take place to reline one of the island’s largest sewers which in a recent inspection was found to be extensively damaged.
However, Ms Botes, who has lived and worked on Le Grand Bouet for eight years, says she cannot count how many times there has been works or closure to the road.
‘I would love to know how many times,’ she said, ‘They’ve built two clos – it’s like they’re digging up every other month. I don’t see why there is no communication between departments, when one comes to dig up the road or build why can’t the others come do the work they need to do too.’
The pet shop has been a mainstay business on Le Grand Bouet and is now one of only two shop front businesses remaining on the road.
Recently invigorated due to an online appeal for custom following a period of insecurity, Ms Botes fears this closure might be the final blow.
‘We had been struggling, pretty much because of previous closures to the road and we are just getting back on our feet after an appeal we put out but it could all happen again. We might just have to shut our doors for the final time and a lot of hard work has gone into this place.’
Ms Botes added that the closure is just one in a long saga of roadworks in the vicinity, that these works cause gridlock, which in turn makes the idea of parking easily and going to competitors in Admiral Park a lot more appealing.
‘I know the works are essential though, there’s nothing I can do about it but I just wished they did it all at once. This has caused me many a sleepless night and I live on the road so of course I know the works have to be done it is just difficult,’ she said.
Local resident, Paul Ingrouille, is hopeful the works will remove an unpleasant smell which has been in the area for some time: ‘I hope it sorts it you know. Every morning without fail there is a nasty smell that comes from the sinks, the toilets, anywhere with plumbing - it is disgusting.’
Other residents felt similarly about the necessity of the works noting it ‘didn’t bother them much as long as it was done, we are still able to get to our houses’.
‘If you live on here it doesn’t really become an issue but for me as a business owner, what am I meant to do. Credit where it is due the States have given me proper signage this time and will post updates on their social media but this should have been done from the start,’ said Ms Botes.
A spokesperson for Guernsey Water said: ‘Guernsey Water’s customer service team have visited businesses personally to advise them of upcoming works and will continue to remain in touch with them for the duration, our efforts to minimise disruption will include appropriate access signage as well as regular updates across our media channels. Residents have all been issued a letter giving details of this closure and outlining the next phase due late summer. This letter includes a plan of the works, as well as contacts if they have any questions or concerns. The lining project as a whole provides minimal excavation work and associated noise and general disturbance when compared to full sewer replacement, which would be necessary if we were to delay or avoid lining works at this time.’
The first closure is from 3 to 30 June.