A rural convenience store retailer in the village of Otterburn in Northumberland is leading a campaign to withhold business rates until traders are compensated for heavy sales losses caused by a five-day road closure.

Gordon Moore of Border Reivers village store is launching a compensation claim against EDF Renewables for losses of 50%, and says that the county council should fully support the traders in taking action.

The main road into the village was closed in both directions after a giant wind turbine transporter fell into a roadside ditch. The recovery and repair took five days, after which time a diversion sign north of the scene was accidentally left in place, leading to further unnecessary loses.

“What we need is for the council grey suits not to be grey suits, to stop sitting on their hands, and to stand up to be counted,” Gordon said.

“I am going to stop paying my business rates until such time as there is an equitable resolution.”

After the closure scene was cleared of cones and road-signs on Friday afternoon, a 5ft diversion sign near Elishaw junction to the north was accidentally left in place.

“It would have stopped people coming into Otterburn from the north so I went out and removed it myself,” Gordon added.

“I now have it at the shop and the council is welcome to come and collect it any time they wish.”