THE owners of the only pub left in a Yorkshire Dales village said they are ‘looking forward’ to discussing a proposed community buyout of the inn.

Plans to convert The Pheasant Inn in Casterton into three houses have been shelved after residents raised concerns about the community asset being lost.

Proposals to convert the pub, as well as the accompanying ten bedrooms and managers’ quarters, into two four-bedroomed homes and one three-bedroom home were dropped in March.

Local resident Ian Hodge spoke of the importance of the pub in the local area.

He said: “I think the measure of that is the number of objections to the planning application that went in.

“Casterton’s only got just over 200 residents maybe 250 absolute maximum if everyone’s staying here but there’s a few second homes and there were 60 objections to the planning application.”

On February 5 the Pheasant Inn was registered as an asset of community value with Westmorland and Furness Council.

This means residents can enact the Community Right to Bid which gives them a moratorium period of six months to determine if they can raise the finance to purchase the asset.

Mr Hodge added: “Once we had the pub listed as an asset of community value, I think the owner’s realised that trying to sell it to a developer and close it down was going to be super unpopular and quite difficult to achieve with that level of objections.

“The main importance of that is it sends a message to the owners that we care about it, and we’d like to keep it, and it allows us as a community to have the opportunity to try and make a bid to buy it when it’s up for sale.”

Following the planning application, residents conducted a survey of the parish, and the ‘overwhelming’ response was that the pub is ‘very important’.

Resident Sally Hodge said: “People in the questionnaire, and from talking to people in the village, really valued the fact that it could be a great social place for the community, for social gatherings, for people to get together and have a chat, for different groups to meet there.

“People really want it to work for them and for the community and it would be great if it could do that either as a community pub or if someone came and bought it and ran it in that way.

“We just don’t want to lose our pub.”

The withdrawn planning application received representations from local residents which said the pub played an ‘integral’ role in village life.

One said: “It accommodates parents and visitors of boarding students at Casterton school who often travel from overseas, it has welcomed and accommodated the National Youth Orchestra as well as members of the Royal family security team who have enjoyed a discreet presence there.”

The public house has been advertised for sale as a going business for six years without any serious offers to purchase made, planning documents previously stated.

The LDRS reached out to the owners who said they did not want to comment on the withdrawn application and were ‘looking forward’ to discussing the proposed community buy-out with residents.