A TEA room owner, who is fighting to keep her business open, is appealing for donations after seeing a surge in support.

Nicola Littlejohn, 50, was left rocked after being told she could see he business closed down.

Braintree Council told her they had received a number of complaints and that she would have to apply for planning permission to keep her business open.

Nicola runs Violet the Vintage Caravan – a tea room operating out of a caravan on the driveway of her home in Swan Street, Sible Hedingham.

The council received complaints about increased traffic and footfall after Nicola opened her business in October last year.

Nicola launched a petition to drum up support for her planning application.

More than 1,900 people have signed.

Nicola is now staging a fighting fund to cover the £500 costs of the planning application.

After just a few days, it has already raised nearly £200.

She said: “I really don’t know what to say – thank you just doesn’t seem enough.

“The kindness and support has been completely overwhelming and I promise I will do everything I can to make sure Violet’s Tea Room stays open for you.

“It has been my absolute pleasure to become a part of this lovely community and to get to know so many of you.

“There has been so many of you commenting and private messaging me saying I should set up a Fund Me page so you can help with the cost of the planning application.

“I will do this, although it doesn’t seem right that I should ask you to part with your money, especially after the year we have had and the financial hardship many of you must have experienced.

“Please be assured that any donations will be used to obtain the planning consent, and if there is anything over, with your permission, I will donate it to our local food bank.