A BUSINESSWOMAN has vowed to fight on after a “crippling” planning row.

Sophie Dillon, 45, said that issues with planning permission over Hayes Barn bed and breakfast have costs her “easily six figures plus” in legal fees and lost trade.

She has now re-applied to Shropshire Council for planning permission for restaurant and drinking establishment use on the site off Racecourse Road, after her original bid was refused in September last year due to highway access and noise concerns.

Sophie decided to close the bed and breakfast while an enforcement order - which has since been lifted - preventing service of food and drink was in place

She hailed her friends and family for their support, and added: “This situation has left me with nothing, except for my heart and my will to fight.

“In terms of what business was lost, I could cry if I think about it for too long.

“In terms of the business, it’s crippled me. I had to let people go. I tried to find alternative employment by taking on another business in town, which is Hayes Kitchen. It’s been immensely traumatic and stressful.

“I’m not a particularly money-driven person, but it’s very upsetting when you’ve got a fantastic team that work together and who really want to be part of what we were doing up there, and they can’t. I feel like I’ve lost a team that were instrumental to the success.

"You’ve only got to read some of our reviews, comments and the Friends of Hayes Barn Facebook page to see what it meant to people.

"There was nothing like it in Oswestry. It’s a very relaxed, friendly, lovely venue and the team of people that I had around me were a part of that.

"I believe in this project 100 per cent and so do hundreds and hundreds of people in and around Oswestry and also outside, and thankfully I’ve got the support of my friends and family and my partner who also think we should be going for it. It’s an asset for the town.”

Sophie added that she had made repeated invitations to objectors to visit Hayes Barn, but that none had been to the property, adding: “So I find it hard to believe that they are in a suitable position to actually draw judgement on it.”

But she added that she had been working on Shropshire Council planning committee’s points of refusal and was confident they could be adequately addressed.

She said: “I’ve always said from day one that compromise is something that’s very important, and I still stand by that.

“We’ve got a new application in, it’s robust and we’re very hopeful and positive about the outcome.”

Sophie added that she had plans for community activities that had to be put to one side after the closure, including a community garden.

On what what would happen if planning permission were refused, she said: "I haven’t gone through the details of that scenario, but I tell you what, I’m going to fight."

The application (reference 18/02843/FUL) can be viewed at www.pa.shropshire.gov.uk/online-applications/