Attempts to prevent a Great Cornard pub being turned into a supermarket are back at square one, despite the building being registered as an asset of community value.
Gavin Fance, who has campaigned to save the Highbury Barn, found out on Friday that Babergh District Council had acknowledged the importance of the pub to the village.
This gives the Save the Barn group the chance to bid to buy the pub, which is owned by Punch Taverns and closed in November 2012, should it go up for sale.
“I am very pleased the council voted in our favour but, on the same day, I found out Punch had requested to change the use of the building from a pub to a retail unit,” said Mr Fance, from Sycamore Road.
“One minute it was good news and then this, so it was a day of mixed emotions.”
Punch Taverns does not need planning permission to implement this change, just a certificate of lawfulness. The firm previously failed with plans to demolish the 18th-century building to make way for a proposed supermarket.
“It is perfectly within Punch’s rights to change it and it means we are in the same situation as before,” said Mr Fance, whose grandparents Del and Jean were landlords of the pub in the 1970s.
If the pub is classed as a retail unit, it would lose its status as an asset of community value.
Mr Fance said he would approach the council to see if the building as a whole could be covered by the regulation.