A business owner fears the temporary road closure of a main road through Newtown following the collapse of a chapel almost two months ago will make him bankrupt.

Hemn Omar, owner of a car wash business behind the derelict Bethel Chapel in New Road, said the situation has left him losing money.

He needs to keep the business open after struggling through the coronavirus pandemic when his Covid grant was rejected.

Mr Omar said: “I don’t want to work there but who is going to look after me and the business? My business is going to be bankrupt because it supports two families and I have staff to pay for.”

Mr Omar criticised the number of road closure signs in the area which is pushing people away from his business. In a normal year, Mr Omar said he would get 30 to 40 customers a day, but it has plummeted to just one customer a day last week.

He also said that following the chapel’s collapse, people on social media have wrongly accused him of being the owner of the derelict building.

The road has been closed since September 27 due to concerns about the structural safety of the derelict chapel after its roof collapsed.

Zahoor Ahmed, the owner of the chapel, told the County Times earlier this week he has recently gained permission from the council to demolish the building which is expected to happen during the next two to three weeks.

He described the whole situation as "totally stressful".

Residents and business owners said they have yet to receive any correspondence about the road reopening or demolition since the collapse eight weeks ago.

Liz Hughes, owner of Elizabeth’s hair salon near the War Memorial, said heavy goods vehicles have been ignoring road closure signs and getting stuck in front of her business.

“It’s been playing heck with us," she said. "Customers don’t know how to get to us.

“We’ve put bollards because huge lorries are coming down and getting stuck. I’ve had to put them there because I’m liable for the pavement. Bricks have come down the chimney which has probably been moved by the chapel or the large lorries. I’m afraid of it weakening my cellar.

“It’s been very frustrating. It’s horrible.”

Kirsty Tudor, also works at the salon, said: “We want it sorted. I understand that they cannot open the road because its unsafe. They need to just crack on with it. It really is a nuisance.”

Mandy Oldfield lives within the road closure area. She said: “It’s an inconvenience but an essential inconvenience because I appreciate the safety factors of the chapel.

"However, I think someone should be brought to task to make sure it is made safe and if that means demolished then so be it, but I don’t think there should be a delay.

"The town is once again being bypassed. Nobody is coming through the town. You don’t realise how many businesses it impacts, like retail, cafés and hospitality.”

Powys County Council has been approached for a comment about the reopening of New Road.