Fear for businesses over Truro sewage work
South West Water's plan to close parts of Truro for over a year will have a "catastrophic" effect on trade, a business leader has said.
The water firm said the sewage network was no longer able to cope with demand and properties were at risk of flooding unless work is carried out.
The "essential" £3m scheme could start in April and take up to 60 weeks.
Neil Scott, from business group Totally Truro, said he did not know how businesses would cope.
The sewage maintenance work is due to be carried out in Frances Street, Kenwyn Street and Little Castle Street.
South West Water said there were currently 23 properties at risk of internal sewer flooding and five at risk of external sewer flooding in the city centre.
Mr Scott. Totally Truro's business improvement manager, said the vast majority of businesses had "absolutely no idea that this was in the pipeline to take place in the spring of this year".
"Sixty weeks of businesses not having vehicle access, let alone the impact of having major, noisy, dirty, smelly works going on directly outside their front door is not going to be a positive visitor experience," he said.
"I see this as being potentially catastrophic for some of those businesses in that area."
In a statement, South West Water said: "We are aware this essential work will cause disruption in the city which is why we will be working closely with the local community to put in place measure to minimise the impact of our works."