The owners of Ridgewood Post Office were thrilled to hear this afternoon that an appeal against refusal of planning permission for a Morrisons convenience store to be built on land next to the Highlands Inn has been thrown out.
Jon and Sue Gothard fought long and hard against plans for the store to be built and feared for their livelihood if it went ahead.
Sue Gothard said: “We are ecstatic, delighted, not only for the future of the Post Office but we were also against it as residents. We didn’t think it was the right thing to do up there.
“From a business point of view we are relieved and it has vindicated our decision to refurbish our shop in February.
“It feels like a weight has been removed from our shoulders. It was like having the sword of Damocles hanging over us all the time. I think the majority of residents in Ridgewood and surrounding area will be really pleased as well.”
The couple thought hard before refurbishing their shop. “No matter what anybody said it would have been a disaster for us if Morrisons had opened but then we got to the point where if we didn’t make a decision we were going to lose out all round,” said Sue.
“So we took a deep breath and decided to get on with the work. We hoped and prayed that Morrisons wouldn’t go ahead.”
A Government planning inspector said that although the Morrisons convenience store would contribute to economic and social roles of development, these were outweighed by the “material harm identified to the character and appearance of the area”.
More about the planning inspector’s view here: Appeal to build Morrisons store at Highlands Inn, Uckfield, dismissed.
Read about refurbishment of Ridgewood Post Office here: Bubbly all round for celebration at Ridgewood Post Office