The future of a threatened pub has been secured after two local couples bought the site.
The Nags Head in Pontesbury was facing demolition after former owners Punch Taverns applied to turn the site into housing – sparking a furious reaction from locals.
About 60 objections were sent to Shropshire Council opposing plans to knock down the pub and it has now been saved after being purchased by couples Ian and Jane Vance, and Howard and Ann Thorne.
They are planning to create eight new jobs after refurbishment is carried out.
Plans were submitted in December to turn the pub and its grounds into four homes.
Under the proposals, the existing bowling green would have been retained.
But the plans prompted anger from residents concerned about the potential loss of the pub, as well as county bowling clubs, who expressed fears the green could be ‘swallowed up’ by the development.
Mr Vance said: “Having lived in Pontesbury all my life, I know just how important the Nags Head has been to so many people.
“The village has already lost two other pubs in recent years and we certainly didn’t want to lose another one.
“Our aim is to completely renovate and extend the pub to create a traditional public bar, a comfortable lounge and a restaurant serving good quality local food.
“Upon completion of the project we will also be looking to create about eight new jobs, which is even more positive news.” Work on the refurbishment is due to begin in the next few months, with the pub staying open for business in the meantime.
The pub’s freehold had been on sale for £265,000.
Mr Vance said today the contracts had been exchanged and group’s ambitious plans for the pub’s future were now in the offing.
He said the group would soon be applying for planning permission from Shropshire Council to carry out refurbishment work later this year.
Mr Vance said it is anticipated the pub would have to close for about six weeks to allow the renovation to take place if the proposals are given the go-ahead.