The Sawmill pub, Newark
The Sawmill pub, Newark

More than 100 people have signed a petition to stop the demolition of a pub that was last saved from the wrecking ball 18 months ago.

Marston’s Estates Ltd has applied to Newark and Sherwood District Council for a second time to demolish The Sawmill, Newark, and replace it with two retail units and a carpark.

A similar application was turned down in April last year after more than 600 people signed a petition against it.

A further petition on the district council’s website attracted 70 signatures.

The pub, which opened in 1981 on Beacon Hill Road, was listed as an asset of community value (ACV) in May last year, which triggered a six-month ban on its sale.

That was designed to allow any interested community groups to raise enough money to put in a bid for the pub, but no group came forward.

The ban on its sale has expired and no further order can be imposed until May 2018.

Marston’s said it had not been approached with any proposal or offer via the ACV process.

Manager Mrs Keeleigh Craythorne only took on the pub around six weeks ago.

'No one wants to see it go'

Her husband, Mr Paul Craythorne, who joined the management team shortly afterwards, said the pub’s customers asked them to set up a petition.

He said: “We are getting quite a few names on it.

“We are just asking customers to sign it when they walk in.

“A lot of people are saying they don’t want it to be knocked down.

“Me and my wife have just taken over and we don’t want to see the place go.

“No one wants to see it go. People just cannot believe it.”

Members of Newark Town Council’s planning committee did not object to the proposal to demolish the pub.

Mr Laurence Goff, who represents neighbouring Bridge ward, was the only member to oppose the plans.

He said: “There are too many pubs in Newark that are closing.

“Since I moved to the town 20 years ago I have lost count of the number of pubs that have closed.”

Mr Goff said he was concerned about the potential impact new retail units could have on nearby convenience stories.