‘I’ll go to court to protect my unborn baby!’

A father-to-be says he will go to court if necessary to gain permission to have work carried out on his home to protect his pregnant wife and unborn baby.

Anna Bliss and Simon Highland outside their house next to Majestic Wine Merchants in Clitheroe
Anna Bliss and Simon Highland outside their house next to Majestic Wine Merchants in Clitheroe

Simon Highland (34) and his fiancée Anna Bliss (27), who is eight months pregnant, are desperate to have work carried out on their home’s exterior wall, but the work is being delayed, the couple say, by nearby business Majestic Wine.

“I own a property that leads on to their Clitheroe branch car park,” explained long distance lorry driver Simon. “The wall is in need of some major attention due to the render cracking and water getting into the wall. This is causing internal damp.”

Simon and Anna, who is a receptionist for The Castle Medical Group at Clitheroe Health Centre, live in a terraced house in Waterloo Road, situated on the corner of Majestic Wine’s car park. Anna is due to give birth on May 18th and the couple plan to get married in August.

“I’ve got an eight-month pregnant fiancée who is ready to give birth in a matter of weeks and Anna has suffered health problems like shortness of breath and coughing because of the damp. Our baby is the main concern and if it means me getting a injunction and going to court to protect our baby then so be it!” Simon added.

Simon explained that, initially, Majestic Wine cooperated and said the couple could carry out the work.

The company said a scaffolding licence should be in place when the work is carried out and there should be third party insurance off a well-established builder.

These things were put in place and the work was due to be carried out over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

“I emailed them saying we were all set and asking if it was ok to carry out the work, but their reply was that under no circumstances was any work to be carried out on our property and if there was they will seek to get an injunction on us,” said a confused Simon.

“They have moved the goal posts again and are now saying they want a start date, a finish date, and a list of what work we intend to do. And they want a surveyor to come out and I’ve to stand the bill! It smacks of bullying to us!” He said.

Simon, who has been saving up for the past year to have enough money to pay for the job, added: “This small job could have been sorted over the weekend. I understand the health and safety and public liability aspect of things, but this is prolonging things and it’s work that needs to be done fast.”

A spokeswoman for Majestic Wine said: “In order to comply with our lease obligations, and to ensure the health and safety of our staff and customers is protected, an access licence is required before scaffolding can be erected on our premises. Once our neighbours have arranged the access licence, works can certainly proceed.”

Simon said Majestic Wine have been so awkward about the whole matter that his builder, who he believed had sorted out an access licence, has washed his hands of the job. A local chartered surveyor is currently looking into the matter to see how the situation can be progressed.