CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after plans to demolish the Rickerscote Arms and build houses there were rejected.
Residents were outraged when Unique Properties Ltd and Malvern Estates PLC submitted their plans for 11 homes on the site of the Rickerscote Road pub.
Two petitions were submitted – one of 593 signatures.
Rickerscote Community Champions are now planning to buy the pub and use it as a community facility after it was made a community asset, giving them first refusal.
Rachel Henley,of Fennel Drive, Stafford, is chair of the group. She told the council’s planning committee the group had a lot of ideas of how to make it work.
“For example the pub would make an ideal venue for a social knit and natter group, or it would make a better venue for the community café which currently runs at the children’s centre.
“In essence with our plans it will still remain a pub but will become more of a community venue alongside the traditional pub offering, maximising the footfall through the doors and turning it into a more economically viable business.”
Ward Councillor Ralph Cooke said: “My major objection is the loss of an important community facility, the local pub, which is easily reached by foot by people from the community.”
The company said the pub had been on the market for two years with no interest and said it wasn’t financially viable.
Councillor Geoff Rowland said: “Quite clearly this site isn’t big enough for 11 houses. It’s a developer trying to shoehorn too many properties onto the site in order to make a profit.”
Proposing the application be refused Councillor Malcolm Millichap said there would be loss of residential amenity and it was over development.”
The plans were rejected unanimously.
After the meeting Mrs Henley said: “We have already started working on our business plan.”