Business calling for council help to tackle floods

Tony Dodds outside his business premises in Cullercoats. GM018252
Tony Dodds outside his business premises in Cullercoats. GM018252

A new business is facing financial ruin even before opening its doors after last week’s freak floods.

Signature Kitchens and Tiles in Burnside Road, Cullercoats, had been preparing to open its premises for the first time this month.

But bosses were horrified to see the building flooded following the heavy rain on Monday, August 5.

Now owner Tony Dodds says he has no choice but to spend his own money to fix the problem, and is looking to build flood defences around the shop in a bid to keep his business going after he claimed North Tyneside Council failed to deliver on promises that work had been carried out.

The premises was flooded twice in the space of five weeks last year when it was leased by Bathrooms Whitley Bay, which have since relocated, and the area has been known to be prone to flooding.

“When I took on this lease I was assured by the council that a lot of work had been done to ensure that flooding of that property was unlikely to happen again,” he said.

“But the water just came in and there was nothing we could do to stop it.

“We are due to open soon and now a lot of our stock is ruined, we’ve had to re-plaster walls that had just been finished, and replace all of the electrics we had just had put in.

“Something needs to be done about it and the council should help.

“We are on our knees before we’ve even opened. For a brand new business to have this set back is just soul destroying.”

A North Tyneside Council spokesman said: “We understand the disruption caused when anyone – resident or business – experiences flooding and we are doing all we can with our partners to address the problems in areas prone to flooding.

“Since Thunder Thursday, a lot of work has gone on, or is planned, to help ensure the borough is ‘Flood Ready, Flood Safe’.

“North Tyneside Surface Water and Drainage Partnership recently announced that £4.75m is to be invested locally to reduce the risk of flooding.

“The council has implemented a more proactive approach with Capita Symonds to prevent flooding in known areas, and will now be working with them to ensure that this is reviewed as a priority taking on board the most recent experience.”

A survey into potential solutions for the Burnside Road area is due to begin in the autumn.