Hair dressing couple say they face a £12,000 windows bill through no fault of their own
- Credit: Archant
A hairdressing couple could face a bill of £12,000 to replace plastic sash windows fitted by a firm that failed to get conservation area planning permission.
The couple, who run The Retreat hairdressing salon in Wisbech, trusted the double glazing firm, whose owners have since emigrated, to get the correct permission to replace upstairs windows in their family accommodation to help block out noise from a nearby nightclub.
However, two and a half years later, they have just discovered the company did not get the correct paperwork from Fenland District Council.
They could now be hit with a bill for thousands to replace them.
Paul Faulkner, 50, who runs the salon in Exchange Square with his wife Marie, said: “We couldn’t afford to do all the windows at once so we did upstairs first and saved up since for downstairs.
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“The firm that did it for us originally were customers, so it feels awful that we are now in this position. We had no idea there wasn’t approval.
“Because the firm is no longer trading we found another business to do the windows downstairs. It was when they applied for planning that the problem came to light.
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“A heritage officer came round to inspect. We can’t believe it. We are so upset.
“We can’t afford £12,000. We’ve also noticed other buildings in the heritage area have plastic windows so don’t know where this leaves us.”
The couple have eight staff and take on work experience hairdressers from Thomas Clarkson, Peele School and Meadowgate.
They have recently spent around £1,800 on CCTV after suffering broken windows and vandalism in the area.
A spokesman for Fenland District Council said: “Our planning enforcement team is currently investigating this case, and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment at this stage.”
The salon used to be W4 restaurant which was owned by former Wisbech Town Football Club manager Barry Carter, his wife Lucille and son Ben.
Before that it was town centre pub, the Wisbech Arms, the scene of a murder in 2005 when landlord Steven French stabbed a customer to death in a brawl.