DREAMS of reopening the Cross Keys pub in Great Bedwyn have been dashed as the community was told a pub outhouse could be turned into housing.

Villagers were so keen to relaunch the Cross Keys pub on the High Street in Great Bedwyn that the Bedwyn Pub Company was launched and attempted to buy the pub off current owners Ian and Julia McIvor.

The former pub has been running as an art gallery after it got permission to change the use of the building.

However the old pub's outhouse buildings have been granted permission to be turned into a home, and hopes to reopen the pub labelled a "fantasy."

The pub building failed to be listed as an Asset of Community Value in 2017 after the Parish Council missed a deadline for applications. This could have allowed the community six months to raise cash to buy the pub.

Villager Rob Braybroke said 107 people had objected to the change of sue plans and said: “The Bedwyn Pub Company LTD was set up exclusively to re-establish the Cross Keys. This has been a development by stealth due to a lack of public consultation. Our aim is to make use of government enterprise schemes to reopen the pub.”

Owner Julia McIvor said: “The Bedwyn Pub Company is a fantasy.

“We invested in the pub in 2014, we refitted, relaunched with the new beer cellar, the whole nine yards. We reopened and there was early enthusiasm but it did not last. After a year we became reliant on a small number of regulars and despite the tenant landlord given a rent free year, it could not work.”

Sitting on the Eastern Area Planning Committee, Cllr Christopher Williams said: “While I am sympathetic, if the 107 people who objected used the pub when it was there, we wouldn’t be sat here today.”

Cllr Nick Fogg said: “We are talking about a change of use only when there is no viable alternative that should be given a chance.  It is beholden to us to give village another chance. Every village deserves that.”

The application to change the building behind the former pub into homes was approved during the Eastern Area Planning Committee.