Insurance confusion means Norwich hairdresser could close

Staff could be laid off at a Norwich hairdresser unless an insurance company coughs up the money to pay for repairs needed after a car crashed into the front of the building.

The front entrance of Mona Lisa 2 in Middletons Lane, Hellesdon has been boarded-up since a car accidently smashed into it several weeks ago.

It means that customers have to walk along a narrow alleyway to get into the hairdresser and many potential punters think the business is closed.

Charlie Dack, one of the directors of the company that owns the business, said trade had been affected since the accident and one member of staff would have to go straightaway.

The other staff are also at risk of redundancy if it takes much longer for the money to be released for repairs, Mr Dack said.

'We are a small company and through no fault of our own could have to close,' he said.

'The Lloyd Pharmacy insurance company owns the head lease on the property and we sublet from them on another lease.

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'I thought that LLoyds would be responsible for the damage to the building. But they say the front of the building is not covered under the terms of the lease and, therefore I need to go to my own landlords for the insurance claims.

'But until this confusion is cleared up, we cannot do anything.

'The repairs will cost about �3,500. We are a small company and cannot afford to pay that and then claim it back.

'We are therefore looking at redundancies, but holding onto our staff as long as we can.'

A spokeswoman for LLoyds Pharmacy confirmed it had been in discussiosn with Mr Dack, but was unable to comment individually on a case.

The accident happened at about 1am on September 17.

Mr Dack said: 'The driver was the son of one of our customers. He had lost control of the car coming home from friends. He had not been drinking and it was just an accident.

'The back end of the car hit a neighbour's wall while the front smashed into the front of our shop. The driver went to the police station afterwards on his own accord. There's no problem getting the money from the driver's insurance.'

Sonia Newby, who works at the hairdresser, said: 'It has affected how busy we are, and there's no daylight with the front boarded-up, so it's not such a pleasant environment to work in.'