Villagers in Gayton are petitioning to save their community pub after plans were submitted by Freebridge Community Housing to turn the building into four new homes.
Plans were submitted back in April to turn the Rampant Horse pub into two one-bedroom houses and two two-bedroom houses, but the proposed changes have seen opposition from residents across Lynn and Gayton from the beginning.
Now the village have started a petition to show the support for their campaign when the plans go before planning committee. After setting it up just last week, the petition already has more than 120 signatures.
Phil Barrington, resident of Gayton Thorpe, started the petition in hopes of saving the pub and reopening it as a community hub.
He said: “This is clearly one of the most identifiable buildings in the area and it holds such a historic past.
“The plans Freebridge have submitted seem to be doing the history of the pub a massive injustice by turning it into four humble community homes.
“Gayton needs a community hub more than ever and the Rampant Horse is just that.
“This campaign is about the pub and what it means to the village, who want to reopen it as a community pub.”
Freebridge chief executive Tony Hall said: “Freebridge Community Housing purchased the Rampant Horse pub after it had closed down last year.
“Whilst we understand the disappointment that some will feel about the closure, we hope the building will continue to support the needs of the community by providing much needed housing in the area.”
The pub was previously owned by Enterprise Pubs who refurbished the building back in January 2012 before closing six months later.
Former licensee Paul Lusher said: “The Rampant Horse is a viable pub, it was doing well when it closed and we used to work with the Crown pub and the social club when they held entertainment.
“We used to support Red Wellies and the village playgroup and employed up to 12 people while supporting local businesses. There was a lot lost when that pub closed.
“It’s the working man’s pub, a place where you can take your family and enjoy a pint. It’s just sad, it has so much history behind it and it just seems a shame to let that go.”
Mr Barrington said: “The more signatures the better. We’d like to reach 500 if we can, and we’ve already done so well in the first week. Comments are just as important as signatures and we will be noting all the comments left on the Facebook page and taking them with us to the planning meeting.”
The petition can be seen online at www.thepetitionsite.com/238/576/947/save-the-rampant-horse-pub-before-its-too-late/
Supporters can also join the campaign at www.facebook.com/TheRampantHorse