Fury as salon boss ‘finds out from own staff’ unit could become takeaway


A salon owner is on the verge of tears after learning from his own staff that his business could be replaced by takeout.

For over 40 years, Allan Iveson has operated Jalz. He boasts that loyal customers come from as far away as York for a cut at a business he says is “merit” for Thornaby.

However, he was left speechless when it emerged a planning application had been submitted to Stockton Council, asking for permission to convert the St Peter’s House unit, at the Pavilion shopping centre, into takeaway.

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What also infuriates him and others are claims that the unit is “empty” – even though the salon has been around for 13 years.

“I didn’t know until a member of my staff last Wednesday received something from a client who had seen something on (Stockton Council’s planning portal), said Allan, 65 years.

“It was just out of the blue.”

The owners of the centre, Proudreed Real Estate Limited, are requesting permission to change the use for the unit. In a design and access statement, the company says a takeaway would bring custom and create jobs.

“It has been demonstrated that the proposed development would comply with both local and national planning policy. In addition, it has been demonstrated that hot take-out meals will not adversely impact residential amenities, the character and appearance of the surrounding area or the local motorway network,” reads a summary.

“The proposed change of use will make positive use of a vacant unit and support the vitality and viability of the district center by increasing footfall and providing employment opportunities for local residents.”

However, there is a growing wave of anger over the plans, with furious clients and advisers among those opposing the proposals.

Jalz owner Allan Iveson was shocked to see plans for a potential takwaway for his ’empty’ saloon – even though he’s been open there for 13 years

In less than a week, more than two dozen objections were filed with the authority. Many argue there’s no need for another single takeout – which is next to KFC – while pointing out a glaring “mistake” in the app.

“There is an error in the last paragraph of the Design, Access and Planning Statement which indicates that the proposed change of use will make positive use of a vacant unit – the unit is NOT vacant” , says Cllr Sylvia Walmsley.

“This is an established hair business with an excellent reputation that has two more years left on the lease with a renewal option for the tenant.

“This hairdresser attracts customers from the wider area, people who also shop in the centre, before or after their appointment, and adds to the diversity and viability of the centre.”

Another objector claimed a takeout would “lower the tone” of the centre.

According to Allan, this lease ends next December. He accepts that there has been “a little problem” in recent months regarding rental fees. Having had a rent reduction, he claims he was told in December that rates were going up again – with Allan offering no guarantee when he would keep it.

“I think that gave (the owner) the ammunition to try and get me out,” he claimed.

Alan Iveson, owner of Jalz women’s hairdressers at the opening of the Thornaby unit

“But they can’t just get me out. I’m an incumbent tenant with a lease there until at least the end of 2023.

“But I don’t know if the intentions are to get planning permission for a change of use, and if they get it, to hang a carrot in front of me to get me out.

“But they have to give me the chance to renew the lease, obviously with negotiations, but they have to give me the chance.”

Certainly, given his long career, he admits it’s not inconceivable that retirement will be on the cards sooner rather than later. However, with a business built over decades – with 13 years cashed in at the current unit alone – he doesn’t want to be “kicked out” when he would be heartbroken to see his pride and joy turned into a pizzeria or parmo. .

“My idea is that when you’ve been in business for almost 45 years, you sell your business and that would be your pension,” he said.

“Now I don’t know how it’s going to work. I know there’s a lot of objections, which is great, and I hope they don’t get this change of use and – when the time comes (i’m deciding to retire) it would be great if they just let me find them an existing tenant.

“My living room and I blow my own trumpet, it’s fantastic and beautiful. It’s the best equipped unit in all of downtown. People say it’s a credit to downtown.

“To think they would come in, tear it up and put fast food on – it’s absolutely heartbreaking.”

And as the saga continues to rumble on, he admits it’s now taking its toll.

“It seems they want fierce unity – but they can’t have it.

“At the end of the day, I had sleepless nights, I didn’t eat and I could actually cry now – it really really got to me.”

Teesside Live has approached the mall for further comment.

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