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Lowestoft alarm saga building owner apologises but blames Poundstretcher for the disruption

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:46 18 October 2018

The alarm in the old Poundstretchers shop in Lowestoft has finally been switched off. Picture: Conor Matchett

The alarm in the old Poundstretchers shop in Lowestoft has finally been switched off. Picture: Conor Matchett

Archant

The owner of the building whose alarm rang for five days in Lowestoft has apologised for the irritation - but blamed his former tenants for the disruption.

The alarm started ringing on Friday, October 5 and was not switched off until Wednesday, October 10.

Raj Patel, 52, from Northampton, owns the building on the corner of Milton Road East and London Road North, but he lays the blame for the alarm fiasco squarely at the feet of his former tenants, Poundstretcher,

Mr Patel and the budget shop chain have been in dispute about the state of the building since Poundstretcher left to move only a few buildings down the street.

At least £25,000 has been lost by Mr Patel since the chain left his building due to unpaid rent, dilapidation surveys, legal fees and business rates.

He added he may end up spending much more money if forced to refurbish the building before selling the property or leasing it out to new tenants.

Mr Patel said: “The reason why it has been left to rot is because of the way Poundstretcher left it. I did everything I had to do legally and unfortunately they did not play ball.

“If they had actually done the work that they had to do in the first place, we wouldn’t be in this position. I am very disappointed considering how big they are. They should know their obligations.”

Mr Patel apologised for any irritation caused by the alarm, and said he only heard that it had been triggered on Monday, four days after it started ringing.

He said: “I am very sorry but obviously there is nothing I could do about it.

“The first chance I had to get it right I get a locksmith in and turned it off. I did what I could and spent a lot of money, around £800, I couldn’t do more.”

The building is now back on the market, with Mr Patel open to offers from potential owners and tenants.

There has already reportedly been interest from a businessman in Lowestoft to buy the building, and a potential new restaurant in the site.

The alarm, which had been ringing for five days, was reportedly set off by a man on the roof and caused “irritation” to people nearby.

Poundstretcher have been contacted for comment.

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