The owner of a village pub who was refused permission to convert the property into a home has offered to lease the premises to the local community. 

Mark Cunningham, who owns the Queen at Brandeston, has written to the parish council inviting the community there to lease the pub for use as a drinking establishment.

In February, the EADT reported how plans to turn the pub, which shut in 2022, into a home had been refused by East Suffolk Council because of the detriment the change would pose to the community.

READ MORE: Plans to turn Brandeston Queen pub into home refused

The plans had received 253 comments from the public, with the majority opposed, amid a campaign to keep the pub open and in spite of the owners stating that the pub was "not a viable business".

The pub is also registered as an asset of community value (ACV), which places restrictions on development and gives the community the right to buy the property if it is listed for sale.

However, in his letter, seen by the EADT, Mr Cunningham said that Brandeston Parish Council had previously stated there was "no appetite" within the community to buy the property and added that two attempts to discuss possible negotiations over the sale of the pub had been "ignored".

READ MORE: Dan Poulter urges council to protect Queen at Brandeston

Mr Cunningham also cited a report carried out on behalf of the parish council by chartered surveyor Nigel Thirkell, which suggested the pub could have an annual turnover of £465,250 based on a 60/40% food/drink operation.

A separate viability report, conducted by real estate firm Savills on behalf of Mr Cunningham, found that a pub was not viable.

READ MORE: Framlingham news

In the letter, Mr Cunningham said: "On reflection of the widespread objections to the planning application for change of use and the council’s refusal, we have decided to make the offer to lease the Queen public house to the Brandeston Parish and local community.

"As indicated in the ACV nominations, the premises can fulfil the function of community hub, furthering the social cohesion of the parishioners and repair the damaged mental health the closure of the pub has reportedly caused."

The parish council refused to comment on the offer.