Page last updated at 09:36 GMT, Monday, 3 August 2009 10:36 UK

Negotiation needed over pub plans

Crook Inn
Plans were unveiled recently to reopen the Crook Inn

Campaigners who fought to save a 17th Century pub for the community have given a cautious welcome to plans to reopen the famous Borders hostelry.

Owner James Doonan unveiled proposals last week to bring the Crook Inn at Tweedsmuir back into use.

It followed consistent local opposition to his previous plans to convert the site into housing.

The Tweedsmuir Community Company said some negotiation was now needed to ensure the scheme suited both parties.

Vice chairman Andrew Mason said they had to take a cautious approach to the plans.

"At the moment we are not saying we support it or we are against it," he said.

"But we are hugely encouraged that he seems to be accepting the fact that the inn is a valuable resource."

'Healthy business'

Mr Mason said his first impression was that the plans as they stood might not be commercially viable.

"I am being cautious here because it sounds like there is going to be some room for negotiation," he added.

However, he said he believed talks could result in the creation of a "viable and healthy" business as well as some housing surrounding the pub.

"We would love for him to be able to put some houses around the inn and get a good return on his investment," said Mr Mason.

"We just have to be very cautious this plan is not leaving us with a crippled business, if you will, that would not be financially viable and would end up closing in a couple of years."

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