Building construction is an inherently noisy, dirty operation but in retailing areas there are ways of reducing the impact and that can be important for business.
The first stages of Shed renewal at QVM are taking place in C Shed and there have been complaints from Traders about the appearance of the construction zone - wire fencing, vehicles, construction equipment, rubbish and noise are all part of the scene.
There is an argument that activity of this nature can be an attraction, and that presenting a see-through to nearby trading areas is better than a blank wall but maybe they are just excuses for minimising costs. In this case the activity is not very attractive (see photo).
Shopping centres go to great pains to disguise construction areas, leave the focus on surrounding operating areas, whilst explaining what is happening, and creating an expectation of good things to come.
Our situation is a little different because it is not just one or two closed shops but whole areas that are under construction. Signage is the key. Ideally we would give customers a quick clear explanation of what is going on and then guide them to where they wish to go. Current signage does all that but only if the customer is up close. From a distance it is simply an unattractive area that will confuse.
Traders are suggesting we can do better.