Residents of the hamlet of Crays Pond in south Oxfordshire are celebrating a notable victory in a campaign of many years to recover their village pub the White Lion, following success in the High Court.

Now, campaigners are hoping the White Lion pub will be put on the market so the community can buy it.

The pub shut in 2006, when the new owner told locals he was going to open the pub as an Indian restaurant, but it soon turned into a private house.

South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) forced the owner to apply for planning permission to use it as a residence, which heralded many years of litigation.

South Oxfordshire branch chairman and pub protection officer David Cooper said: “The residents of Crays Pond have been magnificent in not letting the issue go for such a long time. They have held several packed meetings in the village and refused to let SODC forget that they need their pub back.

“SODC also deserve a lot of credit for pursuing this and we are grateful for their persistence. Nine local residents travelled to London to attend the High Court hearing.

“Unfortunately, this isn’t yet the end of the story and we hope that the village will be able to buy the White Lion and turn it back into the thriving community hub it once was.”

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