PLANS to run a vacant village pub as a commmunity venture hang in the balance after a crucial meeting.

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Developers and villagers met in Shepreth village hall yesterday (Wednesday) to plead their cases to a planning inspector to decide the future of The Plough, on the village’s High Street.

A bid to convert the pub into a five-berdoom house was thrown out last year by South Cambs District Council, but the developers MPM Properties appealed sparking the examination.

District councillor for Shepreth, Surinder Soond, backs the community Ploughshare project and attended the meeting, but is unsure where the dice will fall.

He told The Crow: “It was about 50/50 the two opposing sides put forward fairly good arguments and I think it is going to be a fairly close call. There is a lot to consider by the planning inspector.

“I think that the Shepreth Ploughshare has offered up an alternative and is definitively intrested in buying the pub with the view of running it as a community.

“I would like to think that it is viabile as a pub, the Shepreth Ploughshare people offering a way of it becoming viable and more importantly it would be run by the community to prevent oversights being taken in the future.”

Around 80 people attended the meeting which was held informally, allowing select members of the public to contribute to the discussion.

The pub was used by Spitfire pilots during the Battle of Britain but has sat empty for several years since a previous owner’s failed venture.

Although it is still hoped a commercial landlord can be found the community suggestion has been put forward as a plan b.

A decision is expected in seven weeks time.

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