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 Published on: 2nd May 2014   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

The manager of a pub in Apsley says the uncertainty surrounding a piece of land next to his building is damaging his trade. Recently, the Paper Trail sold part of its site on Stationers Place on London Road to Dacorum Borough Council. Although it remained accessible for several weeks, the land was fenced off soon after, before green hoarding was erected around a month ago. Building work is still to get underway on the site. Dave Croft is manager of The Paper Mill. Before the fence and the hoarding were put up, customers in the pub were able to park on the land. Dave said: “There has been a loss of trade during the day. Our customers and the residents of Apsley just don’t know what is going on. We are trying to alleviate the stress they are having to deal with but the council have said nothing. “I really feel for my customers if they come in they can’t get a parking spot and they’ve got time constraints. If it happens once, you might try it again but if it happens for a second time you just won’t come back. If we could have talked to them, we could have reached an agreement about the land but we’ve had nothing. The way the council has acted, I don’t think there has been a care to our business or people of Apsley.” Businesses in Stationers Place met recently and a parking eye system which uses Automatic Number Plate Recognition is set to be introduced to prevent unauthorised parking in Stationers Place. Paul Botje, manager of the Paper Trail, said he hopes that the parking eye system will help. He said: “All commuters dump their cars there and disappear to London. Hopefully this means people who need to park there can. I’m not sure why the hoarding has been put up.” A spokesman for Dacorum Borough Council said the site has been earmarked for the development of affordable housing, part of a £50 million new-building programme to build 300 new homes by 2020. The scheme is at the early planning stages with a proposed community consultation to take place over the summer. Subject to planning approval and the selection of a contractor, work could start on site by the end of the year with a completion date of 2016. The spokesman explained why the site has been closed. He added: “We have invested money in the site and it has been closed to safeguard it for the housing development and so we can get access for surveys and preparation work. “Although people were parking there unofficially, it is not a car park and is not a long term parking solution as it has been acquired with vacant possession to build affordable housing for Dacorum residents. We want to make sure our borough has enough good quality affordable housing, now and for the future.”

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