The last pub in a North Hertfordshire village could be closed and turned into a family home.

The Plough, in King's Walden, is run by Admiral Taverns and the company told the parish council in July that they intended to sell the pub.

Now, a planning application has been submitted to North Herts Council to turn the tavern into a house.

But villagers are fighting back, with almost 150 people already lodging objections with the council and more than 650 people joining a Facebook group devoted to saving the pub.

The pub is listed as an Asset of Community Value, which means that local groups are given a period of time in which to register their own interest in buying the property.

A company, Ley Green Community Assets, has been created to buy and run the pub on behalf of the community. The company has the financial backing of a local landowner and hopes to purchase and maintain the pub, with profits poured back into the asset.

The Comet: The Plough has been running as a pub for around 180 years.The Plough has been running as a pub for around 180 years. (Image: Dean Elcome)

Dean Elcome, a campaigner, said that they are offering "an absolutely viable route for the success and continuation of the pub".

But one of the owners of the new company, Adam Nicoll, told the BBC that they had found it difficult to contact the pub's owners; Dean says that they have been "stonewalled" by Admiral.

A spokesperson for Admiral Taverns told the BBC: "We had previously engaged with a local resident to maintain the site as a pub but, despite our efforts, discussions had not moved forward and we took the decision to progress alternative uses for the property.

"We are strong believers in the importance of community pubs and our focus is always on helping our licensees to run sustainable pub businesses.


"After careful consideration, we felt in this instance that the Plough did not have a long-term sustainable future within our estate."

However, those campaigning to save the pub disagree.

Dean says that the pub is "often rammed", and has been "consistently profit-making for all its 180 years in operation".

"They could say that about any of the pubs in their tenure. It has very good footfall for a pub."

Admiral Taverns describe themselves as "the UK's leading community pub group".

Campaigners still hope that the pub can be saved, and emphasise the importance of protecting it.

Dean notes that the village lacks a hall or other community spaces, making the pub all the more vital to maintaining a community among residents.

He adds: "If it goes, it will be destroyed forever and never come back - all for the sake of someone trying to make a quick buck by building another four-bed executive home, of which there are many already in the area."

Bim Afolami, the MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has arranged to meet the campaigners and said that he is "backing" their efforts to "save it and protect it for future generations".

Dean recommends that people who want to join their campaign should lodge an objection on the council's website, and consider contacting Admiral Taverns and their CEO, Chris Jowsey. The campaigners have already been making "direct pleas" to Mr Jowsey.

You can find the planning application on the council's website by visiting, and residents have until December 21 to raise objections.