Villagers fighting to save pub

RESIDENTS are fighting to stop houses being built on the site of a pub – labelled the “last remaining amenity” in their village.

Locals in Shepreth started a campaign for The Plough, which closed in January, at a royal wedding street party on Friday.

They formed the Save The Plough Action Group to combat a planning application submitted to South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) for a change of use of the land.

Campaign organiser Richard Handford said the support received so far has been reflective of the community spirit of the village.

“The amount of interest in the royal wedding street party showed that community spirit is alive and kicking in Shepreth and made us realise that we had to fight to save The Plough,” he said.

“Since the shop and the post office closed around 18 months ago, there is nowhere central for people to meet. The pub really is the last remaining amenity in the village and we need to fight to save it.

“We got the best part of 200 signatures on the petition at the street party and we’re going to do everything we can to revive our pub.”

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Mr Handford, of Angle Lane in the village, said they plan to present to petition to SCDC and begin talks with the pubs owners.

It closed in January but villagers are hopeful of returning it to its former use.

“We are all absolutely hopeful it could be a pub once more,” he said. “The British Queen at Meldreth is an example of a village pub being successfully refurbished and we want to do the same.

“Planners should take into account that villagers want to keep their amenities, especially when we have little else.

“The government talks about a big society but changing a vital local facility into houses wouldn’t fit in with that.

“Shepreth is a village with a healthy social life and good community spirit, and we are all right behind this campaign.”

SCDC confirmed that a planning application had been submitted for “change of use” for the land, thought to be flats or houses.

A full planning application should appear at in the next few days.