A cobbled lane in Chester city centre has been revamped but still includes a controversial bin store on the approach to a popular tourist attraction.
Peter Dentith insists he will close the Dewa Roman Experience if the stench from the bins in council's Pierpoint Lane make-over affects the operation.
He worries ‘horrendous smells’ will drive tourists away from the museum which currently attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year, including many school parties, and employs 15 staff.
Mr Dentith, who fears the bin area won’t be well maintained, said: “It does look good, it looks tidy, but all that looks good isn’t good. We’ve tried talking to the council but they don’t give a damn really.”
He feels the bin area should instead be based where the garden has been located as it would not be on the approach to the attraction and would give easier access to refuse collectors.
The businessman believes the council is making ‘a real mess of tourism’; the bus station has been moved ‘too far away’ and the proposed Northgate Development has ‘no chance’ of being built.
Cheshire West and Chester Council says the aim of the Pierpoint Lane project is to tidy up the storage of ugly bins at the rear of city centre shops and restaurants in Bridge Street.
And the council says there was ‘significant local support’ for the project with 28 letters in favour. Many businesses had welcomed the opportunity to secure space in a dedicated and managed off-street waste storage facility.
The matter had been given ‘very careful consideration’ including all the comments received from the Dewa Roman Experience and three other objectors.
Deputy council leader Louise Gittins , cabinet member, communities and wellbeing, said: “Many of the concerns expressed appear to relate to the future management of the site following the installation of the bin storage area.
“I fully appreciate that this could be a cause for concern and the council is committed to ensuring that there is a robust and effective plan in place.
“The planning application approval is subject to the submission of an acceptable management plan and controls exist under the environmental health legislation to deal with nuisances arising from the misuse of such a facility and these would be enforced if necessary.”
Importantly, she said the project included a courtyard immediately adjacent to the proposed bin store which would provide an ‘enhanced open space for local residents and businesses’.
She added: “This has been a very complex problem to try to resolve and the council has sought to understand the views of different stakeholder groups and balance the needs of different groups operating within the constraints of the city centre.
“I believe that the project offers the best available solution for modern waste storage and disposal requirements whilst protecting and enhancing the environment. The council is committed to supporting businesses across the borough to develop and grow and will continue to work with the Dewa Roman Experience and other businesses as the project is implemented.”