Road closure comes as a blow to traders

Jon Nessling at the Woodside Cafe.
Jon Nessling at the Woodside Cafe.

A cafe owner says plans to close the road where his premises is situated for most of May and June will put him out of business.

Via Gellia road is set to be closed halfway between Cromford and Matlock from May 8 until June 26 while a roadside concrete wall is removed and replaced.

The current concrete retaining wall, which serves to enclose roadside gardens on Chapel Hill, was refused retrospective planning permission by Derbyshire Dales District Council on the grounds that the wall would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of both the Cromford Conservation Area and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

But Jon Nessling, who owns Woodside Cafe just off Via Gellia Road and caters for a lot of HGV drivers, said the drastic measure would mean losing all of his income for two months.

He said: “This will shut my business - without my passing trade I have no customers.

“Now they are talking about putting a massive diversion in place but a lot of businesses will suffer along Via Gellia and in Bonsall.”

Former welder and father-of-two Jon, who bought his business four years ago, said he had worked very hard to build it up and make it a success.

He added: “I cannot afford to be shut for two months. Around here everything is seasonal and you have to make your money in the summer to get you through the winter.”

Irene Ratcliffe, Derbyshire County Council Councillor for Wirksworth and Cromford, said due to the risk of landslip and the amount of excavation undertaken while the work was ongoing there was no alternative but to close the road.

Councillor Ratcliffe said compensation would have to be sought through the insurers of the home-owner having work done.

She added: “I know this is very difficult but we have to make sure that this work is done properly.”