WEST DORSET: An historic pub in the Marshwood Vale has been put up for sale.

An application submitted earlier this year to change the use of the 700-year-old Shave Cross Inn has been withdrawn, and the property put on the market for £495,000.

Proprietors of the pub, Mel and Roy Warburton, had wanted to turn the building into a private dwelling.

But dozens of people, including West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin, spoke out against the application when it was lodged with West Dorset District Council.

Upper Marshwood Vale parish councillors also refused to grant approval to the plans.

Residents welcomed the withdrawal of the de-licensing application.

Parish councillor Ali Cameron said: “It would be great to see it as a working, flourishing pub again.

“The reaction from the public when the application to de-license was put in was so strong and even Oliver Letwin, rather unusually, contributed his thoughts to the subject.”

He added: “It is a difficult time for pubs generally, but this is an important part of the Marshwood Vale because there are a lot of smaller businesses around, such as bed and breakfast establishments, whose customers rely on the Shave Cross Inn to get an evening meal.

“The current owners have put a lot of effort into it but if it is to be sold and kept as a pub it will require a lot of work.

“I am delighted that the de-licensing is not going ahead, but now it’s our job to support whoever takes it on.”

Mr Letwin previously told the Bridport and Lyme Regis News that ‘we need to do whatever we can to preserve rural pubs in West Dorset’.

Details released by business transfer agents Stonesmith state that the pub is being sold due to ill health.

Trade has been restricted in recent years for the same reason.

A spokesman said: “Our clients advise that there is genuine potential to develop all aspects of the trade still further, particularly by offering food all day, especially during the peak summer months and at weekends, for which demand exists.

“There are also opportunities for incoming operators to develop their own style of cuisine and develop the trade in a manner to suit their own personal requirements by offering a more traditional British style cuisine.

“The sale of The Shave Cross Inn represents an excellent opportunity to purchase a stunning character country inn in an extremely desirable part of Dorset and a viewing is essential in order to fully appreciate this very special business.”