A PERFECT storm of construction projects is causing traffic nightmares in one tiny road.

Shops along Church Street in Wantage say the constant stream is starting to impact on business.

The problems are caused because three construction projects have all been allowed to go ahead at once: the building of a block of apartments for elderly peolpe in the former police station on Church Street, the conversion of the former Woolpack pub next door into homes and the building of a new science block at nearby King Alfred's Academy.

Peter Malowany, who runs Mallers Kitchens in the Victoria Cross Gallery off Church Street, said he had missed deliveries because drivers were unable to park, customers had been put off visiting and he had given up driving into work and is now walking from his home in East Challow.

He said: "On any given day parking is almost impossible. We had two deliveries turned away from the road because there were too many builder there and it's been going on for months and months.

"Everybody's affected. Somebody should have foreseen this happening."

Mr Malowany said he had called police but ended up getting parking tickets himself, having been forced to park in a restricted zone just to get into work.

Another worker on Church Street who asked not to be named said that construction vehicles were taking up public spaces in the Beacon civic car park.

She added: "It's a nuisance but hopefully it will be over soon."

The frustration comes weeks after Wantage and District Chamber of Commerce warned that illegal parking was threatening to drive some businesses out of the town centre.

The chamber said vehicles were taking advantage of lax enforcement, particularly in Newbury Street and Wallingford Street, to sit on single yellow lines for long periods, making deliveries difficult.

On-street parking in Wantage is the responsibility of Thames Valley Police, but chamber president John Naish called on local councils to take control of the problem.

Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, said it would not be financially viable and would place 'additional burden on the public purse'

Responding to the current Church Street problems county council spokesman Paul Smith said: "We have no powers in dictating when the development can start, plus as it is normally a planning condition the district council could intervene."

Vale of White Horse District Council, which granted planning permission for the three building projects, said: "Once a planning application has been granted, the Vale follows the standard nationwide approach of three years limit in which developments must begin.

"The district council cannot specify when each development is constructed."