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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 May 2007, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Locals plan pub community buyout
Crook Inn
Locals hope to buy the pub which is one of the oldest in Scotland
Patrons of a 400-year-old pub in Peeblesshire said they plan to stage a community buyout of their local to save it from being turned into luxury flats.

The Crook Inn, in Tweedsmuir, once boasted regulars including Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott and is on the market for offers over 300,000.

In November a planning application was lodged with Scottish Borders Council to turn the pub into flats and a house.

Since the application, 160 objections have been received by the council.

Locals said that the inn, which is the only pub for 20 miles between Moffat on the A74 and Penicuik in Midlothian, is a vital hub for the local community.

The Crook has always been more than just simply a pub
Andrew Mason
Community councillor

Community councillor Andrew Mason said its loss would be a severe blow to the community.

He said: "The Crook has always been more than just simply a pub.

"For more than 400 years it has fulfilled a role in our community, with family parties, celebrations, meetings and many more events held there.

Charitable company

"To lose this valuable resource would be a tragedy and, without the pub, Tweedsmuir is essentially losing its cultural community."

In recent years the village has seen its public transport links and Post Office disappear.

The inn, built in 1604 and now one of Scotland's oldest pubs, is among the last amenities in the village.

Mr Mason added: "Obviously a community buyout scheme is time-consuming and lengthy, but if there is no interest from a buyer who wants to keep the Crook as it is, then we are quite happy to do it ourselves."

Local people are now in the process of trying to secure funding and establish a charitable company to oversee the running of the pub should their buyout be successful.

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