More than 15 businesses have hit out over “unsightly” roadworks that have plagued their shopfronts with noise and dust.

Islington Council started redevelopment work to “improve” Chapel Market earlier this year, but owners of the street’s shops claim the opposite has happened.

In a letter sent to the council earlier this month, 18 businesses said that the works had become an “eyesore” with dust “incessantly” covering shopfronts, and that their concerns had been “trivialised”.

Nina Altinsoy, who runs Chapel Café, told Islington Gazette she had been left “fuming” after noisy work drove away customers.

Islington Gazette: Chapel Cafe in Chapel MarketChapel Cafe in Chapel Market (Image: Alex Marsh)

She claimed that the café, which was first opened in the market by her father around 20 years ago, risks having to shut down if the disruption continues - and believes many others will be in the same situation.

Ms Altinsoy said: “I just had enough. We can’t put [out] chairs [in front of the café anymore]; this year we’ve lost so much trade.”

She added that she has had to pay high business rates this year despite the disruption.

Ms Altinsoy was also concerned that the presence of a new hot food section in the market would further impact her trade. 

Another business that has expressed “deep concern and dissatisfaction” about the works is Yen’s Kitchen, an Asian restaurant serving Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai dishes.

Gabriel Le, who works at the restaurant, told this paper that “noise pollution and dust” had created ongoing disruption for customers. 

Islington Gazette: Yen's Kitchen in Chapel MarketYen's Kitchen in Chapel Market (Image: Alex Marsh)

He added that the business had noticed fewer people visiting as a result.

Affected shops and restaurants have now called on Islington Council to compensate them for their losses and ensure that cleanliness is maintained in the market during the remainder of the works.

They added that the council also needed to address concerns over other vendors being allocated paid-for stall space, especially when it obscures existing shopfronts.

Cllr Santiago Bell-Bradford, Islington’s executive member for inclusive economy and jobs, said: “Any project of this scale unfortunately comes with some disruption, but we have worked closely with our contractor to manage this, and minimise disturbance wherever possible.

“This includes the use of noise barriers and isolating works into phases so that market traders and businesses can continue to trade.

“Wherever possible work is carried out on Mondays, as this is the quietest trading day on the street.

“However, with a project of this size it is necessary to have works taking place on more than one day a week in order to remain on schedule.

 “A new hot food section is being created, and permanent licence holders have been prioritised in these spaces.

“We have also ensured that any affected business on Chapel Market can take a tables and chairs licence at the front of their premises instead.”

The work includes repaving sections of the street and planting new trees at the eastern end of the market. It is anticipated that it will be completed by the end of this year.