UPDATED: Yet more Old Town chaos? Contractor sued and parking restrictions claim warning notice victims on first day

Old Town roadworks
Old Town roadworks

As the ill-fated Hemel Hempstead High Street renovation reaches ever closer to its much-delayed finish date, visitors and businesses in the area have suffered yet more setbacks.

While one Old Town-based business has started legal proceedings against the already contrite contractors for damage to its premises, those venturing back to High Street shops and services were bitten by new parking restrictions on the very first day of their enforcement.

Co-owner of chartered surveyors business Balneaves Chadwick Steve Chadwick alleges the civil engineering fim behind the roadworks caused damage to two of its properties, including causing floods in a basement.

According to Mr Chadwick, around 60 commercial tenants in Charleston House, which the firm owns and runs from, were unable to use toilets as a result of the problems.

The company has now begun small claims proceedings against Jackson, contracted out by Dacorum Borough Council, to cover the costs incurred as a result of the damage.

Mr Chadwick said: “We have been messed around something chronic.

“People do sometimes cause damage – it happens – but they don’t put their hands up and say it is their problem. It has been appalling.”

A spokesman for Jackson said one of the matters is being dealt with through its insurers, while they cannot comment further on the issue at Charleston House as it is the subject of a County Court claim. The firm added: “Mr Chadwick has been provided with all the latest information on both of these issues.”

“The remaining work on the High Street is progressing well and we are on track to finish on May 14.”

Meanwhile, those making use of new parking in the Old Town have already been hit with warning notices since the restrictions were put in place yesterday.

One High Street businessman has complained there are no visible signs displaying parking rules, but a Dacorum Borough Council spokesman said: “There are clear parking restriction plates at the entrance to the High Street and there will be a repeater sign located near the bus bay by May 6.

“The cars parked in the bus bays today were given warning notices, which are being issued up to 11 May to give drivers an opportunity to get used to the new restrictions.

“Penalty Charge Notices, or parking tickets, will be issued from 12 May when we start enforcing the restrictions.

“We hope the improvements to the High Street will increase revenue to businesses by providing more short term parking, will help traffic flow through the Old Town, and ease congestion along the High Street. There are also loading bays and an evening taxi rank, all the improvements are aimed at making it easier to visit the businesses and facilities in the Old Town.”

{http://www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/local/chaos-on-the-high-street-as-old-town-works-finally-near-completion-new-restrictions-introduced-1-6022808 |Read more about the restrictions by clicking here.}