Popular Burnley cafe forced to close its doors after rainwater floods premises

Yesterday's thunderstorm caused a popular Burnley cafe to close its doors after rainwater poured into the premises.

Customers had to be turned away from Bellissimo in Parker Lane after rain water started gushing in, forcing owners John and Lynn Scibetta to evacuate the premises and begin a clean up operation.

Lynn said: "We simply could not believe it was happening after the past year or so of having gone through a pandemic.

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"It is just devastating as this is not the first time this has happened."

John and Lynn Scibetta had to close their cafe in Burnley yesterday afternoon after t was flooded with rainwater

Fortunately two Burnley PSCOs, who were holding an engagement session at the cafe. rolled up their sleeves to help with the mop up operation.

Lynn said: "They were fantastic, they just got stuck in to help and we are so grateful to them."

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The couple believe the rainwater got into their premises due to collapsed guttering on the property next door, a former take away which has been empty for six years after a fire gutted the building.

Lynn said: "At the time of the fire our shop was filled with smoke and the fire brigade had to come in and clear it

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An image of the gable end wall the owners of Bellissimo cafe in Burnley have expressed concern over

"We had to close down for a couple of days. Since then the property next door has been empty and is going to wrack and ruin which is affecting our premises.

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"This is having a disastrous effect on our livelihood."

The couple, along with other traders, have also expressed concern about the gable end wall on the row of terraced shops as it appears to be bulging and cracking. The couple have now reported the wall to the Health and Safety Executive.

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A Burnley Council spokesman said: "The owner of the property next to Bellissimo is responsible for its upkeep and repair.

"We have inspected the premises several times, over a number of years, following complaints.

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"We can only step in and take action in default if there is an immediate danger to the public and, so far, our inspections haven't found sufficient evidence for that to be the case."