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Salon boss angry as expansion is rejected
10:50am Friday 1st March 2013 in News
A SALON owner believes a “vindictive” campaign led to her expansion plans being rejected and potential new jobs being lost.
Helen French wanted to convert the flat above her beauty salon on Kiln Lane, Windle to grow her business.
But planners rejected her planning application on the grounds that it would create parking congestion on near to the junction with Coronation Road.
Helen, 47, has been based there for more than three years, employing six staff - and hoped an expanded salon – featuring a relaxation zone upstairs – would mean she could recruit apprentice beauticians.
After submitting plans, she says an anonymous letter was delivered to other businesses and homes.
Consequently more than 20 objections to the expansion were registered with St Helens Council, which then rejected the proposals on the grounds it would cause an “unreasonable increase in parking”.
Helen said: “I’m very, very disappointed by the decision and really how it came about.
“Local residents were delivered an anonymous letter by someone after I submitted the plans. When I read it was quite vindictive against me.
“From that point the objections went in and they rejected it.”
Helen, who pointed out that the premises were derelict before her business transformed it, believes her plans were treated unfavourably – will appeal the council ruling.
However, the process could take up to six months.
She added: “They talks about an increase in parking congestion but there were two girls living in that flat previously.
“They both had cars and their boyfriends had cars, so there were four cars there permanently.
“All that would happen here is that there would be cars coming and going as people had treatment.
“I’m always getting letters from St Helens Chamber asking me to take on apprentices and this ‘semi-spa’ I wanted to create might have led to this.
“The likes of the Starbucks plans (at Windle Island) got the go ahead on the basis of employment, so why not this?”