THE hopes of residents hoping to save their beloved pub continues to hang in the balance, after a council’s decision was extended for the second time.

The Lapstone has been nominated as an asset of community value after being put up for sale by Enterprise Inns.

A band of community members in Horton Heath had hoped to save it, with its designation giving the group six months to raise the funds to purchase it.

The decision from Eastleigh Borough Council was expected on March 23, but the deadline was extended to give both parties more time to present evidence.

Enterprise Inns have launched an objection to the nomination.

After the deadline for the council’s decision was extended until March 30, the outcome is now expected this week.

It is the first nomination for an ACV that the authority has had to decide upon,

Cllr Bruce Tennant said: “It looks like it will be this week for the decision as we want to make sure the decision is absolutely the right one.

“We need to see how much support is out there for the pub.”

The pub has been put up for sale, with the watering hole shutting its doors at the beginning of March as the previous landlord Kevin Dawkins said he was ‘fed up’ with the owners.

Enterprise previously said: “We have taken the decision to offer the freehold of the Lapstone, Horton Heath for sale and the pub is being openly marketed by our agent Savills.”

The campaign to save it has been led by resident Gabriel Boland, who has met with civic chiefs about the decision.

Gabriel, 61, said: “It looks like next week that we will have a decision. We would rather they get it right than rush it, as they want to make certain of the decision, they are setting a precedent for the future.

“Pubs are a British tradition and we cannot keep losing them.”