MP weighs into village pub debate
PUBLISHED: 15:32 06 June 2011 | UPDATED: 13:13 08 June 2011
CAMPAIGNERS rallying to save a village’s last pub have been boosted by their MP’s support.
More than 400 people have signed a petition to stop plans to convert The Plough, in Shepreth, into a five-bedroom-house.
The Save The Plough Action Group estimates two thirds of villagers oppose the proposal, and the parish councillors voted unanimously against the developer’s, MPM Property (Royston), plans.
South Cambs MP and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley says that he supports the lobbyists and wants to save the pub, which has stood empty for a number of months.
“I am very sorry to learn of the loss of the business,” he said.
“If community action in the area can restore prospects for The Plough remaining open as a business, I would certainly welcome it. Keeping public houses in villages is a key part of sustaining village life.”
Action group organiser Richard Handford was delighted to have backing from Shepreth’s parliamentary representative.
Mr Handford said: “To have the support of the local MP in our campaign is really special and to know that the government is supporting local interests is important.
“The developers have said that the new house will help the shortage of homes in East Anglia. The Plough has a four-bedroom flat, so the plans for an extra bedroom won’t help the shortage at all.
“About two thirds of the village signed our petitio, which shows how strong our movement is and how important a pub, and our last village amenity, is to our community.”
The campaigners sent the petition to South Cambs District Council last week along with a four-page letter from the parish council.
The council is reviewing the application.
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