Demolition works at the Town Hall are costing the city council thousands of pounds in lost rent after businesses complained about ‘horrific’ noise.
Last month it was revealed the Job Centre in Peterborough would be moving to the Town Hall in Bridge Street in the new year, and works are currently taking place to prepare the building - including demolition of walls.
As a result of the disruption, five businesses - Oxfam, Amplifon, Cellys Hairdressing, British Heart Foundation and Specsavers - have had rent reduced. The total rent reduction across the firms amounts to £38,480.
Ilyas Ozluk, owner of Cellys Hairdressing, has said the works are creating so much noise it is driving customers away.
Mr Ozluk said: “The noise starts very early in the morning, and is so loud you can feel the floor shaking. It is horrendous. We rely on walk in trade, not appointments, and people are not waiting in the salon as a result of the noise. We have asked if the works can be done later in the afternoon, so it doesn’t impact our trade - but we have been told it isn’t possible. The council have given us a 50 per cent discount on our rates, but it is not enough.”
The British Heart Foundation shop has closed, with signs on the door saying it has shut ‘for operational reasons.’ The charity did not want to comment further other than to say the branch is planned to re-open in March or April.
Peterborough City Council said the charity was not paying rent while it was shut.
A Peterborough City Council spokesman said: “We have apologised to the businesses affected and due to the inconvenience caused we have reduced their rents. In total five businesses have had reductions applied to their rent, initially for the period from October until the end of the year. We expect the noise from the works to reduce in the new year when the project moves on to the construction phase. However, we will continue to monitor noise levels and work with the affected tenants.”
The council spokesman said they were unable to schedule the works for other times because of cost. The transformation will cost £2.4 million - with £1.7 million set to be paid by Peterborough City Council. The remainder will be paid by the Government.
Council staff are preparing for the move from the Town Hall to a new building in the Fletton Quays development.