Traders of Pickwick Walk disappointed by planning decision

Pickwick Walk trader Yogesh Umeria

Pickwick Walk trader Yogesh Umeria

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Traders of a shopping arcade say they are disappointed by a planning appeal decision to redevelop their shops.

It was announced today that the Planning Inspectorate had allowed the appeal of the owners of Pickwick Walk, in Hatch End to convert the ten units at the site from individual shops to a single retail unit and cafe.

Traders still using the site had campaigned save the arcade and now fear for their livelihoods.

Yogesh Umeria, who owns the Sole and Heel Shoe Repair shop, said: “I'm just shocked really; I just don’t know what to do.

“I thought with all the public support we had we might have won. It still hasn’t sunk in and I don’t know what I am going to do next. It’s so disappointing.

“I think now I am going to have to look at other places to move to but I want to stay in the area and it’s just too expensive round here.

“For now we are going to have to wait and see what the landlord decides to do next.

“The last year has been really tough. It feels like the planning decision and uncertainty was hanging over our heads.”

Shaz Peacock, who runs Cut & Sew, said: "I think deep down we expected this decision was going to come.

“For me and others it will mean we will have to leave the area and try and find somewhere else. I will keep working but I need to find somewhere I can afford.

“I love this area and the people round here are lovely. I will be very sad to leave and say goodbye to customers.”

Plans were originally submitted last year by the Word & Krailing Pension Fund but were rejected by Harrow Borough Council's planning committee.

In October the owners appealed the council decision and the Planning Inspectorate, which investigated the case, said the appeal was allowed and granted planning permission for the site.

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