THE owner of a Chester guest house has spoken of his frustration as works to repair gas mains outside his business are to take place over the next three weeks.

The repairs are part of a £20m, five-year project to revamp the city’s gas pipeline network.

But Russell Lyons, who owns Laburnum House with his wife Anne, said the noise levels at night will be too much for guests at the St Anne Street guest house.

Russell added he has already moved a group of Japanese tourists to his other guest house in Chester, the Grosvenor Palace, amid concerns they would not comfortably enjoy their stay while the works were going on.

He said: “Engineers have worked nights and the noise has been horrendous.

“I spoke to the project manager because of the effect it has had on my business. It is ridiculous, really.

“I have got a party of Japanese people who are staying at my other place, the Grosvenor Palace now. It would not have been convenient for me or them otherwise.

“They have said they would compensate me for the work and I said to them ‘OK, let’s have the cheque then’, but they told me I have to fill out a form and wait a few months for it.

“I have given up. I have gone to all the avenues I can go to so I have shrugged my shoulders and am moving people out.”

Carol Lloyd, regional communications assistant for National Grid communications, which has been carrying out the work via North West Gas Alliance, said: “We are repairing the old cast-iron pipe with new plastic ones, which will last for 80 years.

“While we appreciate there is disturbance from this, there is short-term pain, long-term gain.

“We have been working very closely with the local authority during this period of the works, and we are doing this under instruction from the local authority with the plan to work from 8pm-8am during the night.

“We have also agreed with the council we will not carry out night-time working over the weekends in order to give the residents a break.

“We have put two teams of engineers on this particular section of the project and are working hard to complete the work as soon as possible.

“We have spoken to the gentleman previously and we have said to him if he has lost business as a result of this he could apply for loss of earnings.”