Scaffolding 'eyesore' on Pepper Street causing obstruction to businesses and residents

By Lindsay Turpin in Business

A SCAFFOLDING ‘eyesore’ is causing ‘considerable inconvenience’ to residents and businesses in Tavistock.

Pepper Street has been the topic of concern recently after both sides of the road were taken over by scaffolding, which one person has said is obstructing footpaths and causing considerable nuisance to residents and to businesses which are missing out on passing trade.

The east side of the road, which is off Duke Street in Tavistock, saw scaffolding erected back in November 2016, followed by scaffolding which was placed on the opposite side of the street last month.

Caroline Furze lives in Newmarket Court, which is accessed via a small alleyway from Pepper Street. She is disabled and wheelchair dependant.

She said: ‘As well as being an eyesore, the scaffolding is causing considerable nuisance and inconvenience to people trying to use Pepper Street and to those living in Newmarket Court.

‘The scaffolding is especially disruptive to me because I am disabled. The Pepper Street pavements are narrow: with the scaffolding in place, they are too narrow for a wheelchair or, indeed, many prams and pushchairs.

‘Pepper Street is a narrow street and the scaffolding makes it narrower still. The courtyard behind the west side of the street —Newmarket Court — has residents’ parking. The turning into the courtyard is tight at the best of times and the scaffolding has made it too tight for many people. I live at the back of Newmarket Court and, due to the obstruction caused by the scaffolding, can no longer use my parking space outside my flat. This has a major effect on my independence.’

Tavistock Business Improvement District (BID) manager Lisa Piper also expressed her concern over the scaffolding. She said: ‘Our main concern is the scaffolding poles blocking the walkways and not giving access to the shops.

‘The traders in the street are suffering. We contacted the fire brigade to see if there was access for vehicles and they said the space was 3.1m which meets the legal requirement.

‘The scaffolding is deterring people from going up Pepper Street and all the businesses on that road are struggling. But BID is doing what it can and is working at getting signage for those businesses to show that they are open as usual.’

Before scaffolding can be erected on the highway, a licence must be issued by Devon County Council.

A Devon County Council spokesman said: ‘The granting of the scaffolding licences for these schemes were co-ordinated so that they didn’t overlap. However, unfortunately, the work on the property on the east side of Pepper Street has overrun, and the scheme on the opposite side of the road could not be delayed any longer.

‘The first scheme has an extension until July 29, while the second scheme has until September 5. While we appreciate the scaffolding is an inconvenience, none of it is obstructing the footpath and shops are still accessible. Enough room has also been left for vehicles.’

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