PLANS to save a pub from closure have been put forward by the owners who have pledged their “time, money and love” to keep it open.

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Nick and Stacey Paine said they had closed The Angel, in Debenham, because of “market conditions and the costs of running a public house”.

But now Mr and Mrs Paine have spoken to Mid Suffolk District Council about reducing the size of the pub to try to reopen it.

Despite the news, the pub’s owners have said they have been “hurt” by “malicious bullying” over the way they have run the business.

A message posted on the Debenham village website by Nick and Stacey Paine said: “We both cared deeply about the work we did at The Angel, and despite the reams of positive testimony we received, we have been hurt by both the direct and indirect insults that have been levelled at us.

“This emotional turmoil makes it very difficult to progress with running our business. Leaving it (the pub) as it is, is not an option we will be pursuing. There are three routes available to us – make it smaller and have it run by an experienced local licensee, open it as retail/café or close it altogether.

“We ask for the sake of progress in getting the pub reopened that people take this on board and offer their support instead of pursuing their ideal outcome which is not based on factual information or being offered as a possibility.

“We would like to get the pub reopened as soon as possible; I hope that the village feels the same.”

The Paines have said they hope to reopen within the next couple of months with a new landlord running the pub.

Mrs Paine, 31, said: “I do generally believe that the pub will be kept open but it needs to be in a way that is sustainable. Our interest is for it not to close.

“There’s not a huge queue of people who want to go into pubs but this situation will give it the best chance of making it a success.”

A statement from Debenham Parish Council said: “There have been several recent comments about the future plans for The Angel public house. The parish council will be notified of any plans submitted by the owners of The Angel to Mid Suffolk District Council.

“Whatever these plans relate to, the parish council will have them as an agenda item at the next available parish council meeting. Until such time that plans are submitted to Mid Suffolk, the parish council is not in a position to make a comment on the matter.”

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