Reprieve in fight to save Shepreth pub

VILLAGERS fighting to save their pub have been granted a reprieve after a planning appeal was thrown out.

An inspection by the Planning Inspectorate has dismissed an appeal to convert The Plough pub in Shepreth, currently in the hands of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to residential use.

Donna Thomas, the new chairman of the parish council, said “I am delighted with this decision.

“Lots of people put in lots of work to get this far. I am confident that RBS would be happy to have this property off their hands quickly and we are close to having the heart of our village back.”

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

Residents have been searching for someone to buy the pub and have considered running it as a community venture.

The Shepreth Ploughshare scheme was set up to investigate the proposal and South Cambs District Council’s representative for the village welcomed the news.

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Councillor Surinder Soond told The Crow: “It looks like Shepreth will be getting its pub back. That’s splendid news for Shepreth residents and it is very encouraging.

“I hope that either we can find a buyer for the pub or the Shepreth Ploughshare community pub initiative gains more momentum.”

The pub’s future has been hanging in the balance since April after a public meeting saw residents and the developers argue their cases. 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.