The landlord of a Lowick pub saved from closure has dispelled rumours in the local community that he is about to quit.
Leslie Bell, tenant at the Black Bull Inn, has instead outlined his commitment to making a success of the historic pub.
He said: “It is my hope that the Inn will continue its historic role as a social centre for the community as well as offering hospitality to visitors.
“I remain tenant (at will), and have no plans to leave the Black Bull at the moment despite the rumours in the community.
“I am in discussions regarding the opening of a business in the town centre this year. However, this will not affect my operation and the ongoing trade of the Inn.
“I will work for the continued success of the Black Bull Inn until I decide to leave or a buyer purchases the property.”
He was speaking after plans to close down the pub to make way for a quartet of four-bedroom houses were withdrawn by consultants acting on behalf of B & L Properties.
“I note that Caldecott Consultants have declined to comment,” said Mr Bell. “This is hardly surprising bearing in mind that their original statement regarding the viability of the business, published in the planning application, was far from accurate.”
The reprieve has been greeted warmly by residents in the village, with parish council chairman John Huddart expressing its importance to the community.
Mr Bell added: “I would like to thank all those who have given their support and loyalty to the Black Bull during the damaging few weeks.
“I am delighted the plans have been withdrawn by the owners and one of our oldest and most popular Inns in the area can still provide hospitality.”