Owners of a pub at the centre of years of strife between them and village residents are proposing to open the bar for six hours a week to get around a legal ban that prevents them living in the building.
Geoff and Jacqui Noquet have made repeated attempts to get permission to change the Bishop’s End – formerly the Bishop Blaize – in Burdrop from a pub to a house.
The Noquets’ appeals have been dismissed and they have ignored enforcement action.
They have now applied for a licence to open the pub three lunchtimes a week to meet its obligation as an inn.
But villagers believe such a licence would not be legal.
“Our advice says this doesn’t constitute ‘reopening as a pub’,” said Oswyn Murray, Sibford Gower parish council chairman. “We are going to ask Cherwell District Council to take legal action to enforce the ruling.
“The Noquets have already been living there for three months after the deadline.”
After this week’s planning inspector’s report, ruling against the Noquets’ latest appeal, the parish council is going to renew its application to have the pub registered as an Assset of Community Value (ACV,) forcing the owners to give the community six months to buy the property if it were put up for sale.
Cherwell had refused to make the registration because the pub was lived in.
Residents want to run the Bishop Blaize as a community pub and believe they could make it profitable.
A council spokesman said: “Consultation for the licence application closes on August 15. The council will give careful consideration to the alleged ongoing breach of the council’s enforcement notice and the available options for further enforcement action.”