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Dolcie’s shut by environmental health officer

Council officers swoop on store

A shopkeeper was forced to use public toilets for more than three
months because of the condition of the rear of the shop she rented. Dolcie Harvey, who runs Dolcie’s in William Street, had to shut
up shop and bring in her rails of stock every time she wanted to spend a
penny.

It meant she lost custom, and then incurred more expense when
her stock room suffered damp and customers were put off by the smell.

It was eventually forced to close by Canterbury City Council
officers last week, as Dolcie opened the doors to her new shop, just
down the road in William Street, opposite Roger’s Menswear. She said:

“It has been an absolute nightmare. We have had to
pay for storage, and for moving, and we are still battling to get our
deposit back. Our solicitor advised us to leave because the building was so bad. We hadn’t been able to use the toilets since February after the
council saw what they were like and now the whole shop is unsafe.”

The building’s problems are thought to be due to the flat-roofed extension, which frequently let water in. It was propped up with a metal support after it started bowing,
but environmental health officer Nick Mayne found it was at risk of
collapsing.

He issued a prohibition notice on Dolcie Harvey and her landlord
Tony Gedge after inspecting the property in William Street last week. It means until the building is made safe, no work can take place and it cannot be open to the public. Dolcie said:

“He locked the door to the back of the shop and banned anyone from going in there. It is a relief that others recognise how bad it was. I couldn’t put a price on how much stock we have lost, plus the
storage costs and the customers who were put off by the smell of damp. But our new shop is much nicer – it is clean and it doesn’t smell, for a start!”

Landlord Tony Gedge, of KTV services, who owns the shop, did not want to comment. Council spokesman Rob Davies added:

“Officers from the council’s
environmental health, planning enforcement and building control
departments have been working with the building’s owners and tenants to
maintain public safety.”

thisiskent 10th May 2013

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