Villagers who tried to raise the cash to buy their local pub have been left worried about its future following a private sale.
Residents of Charwelton had attempted to buy The Fox and Hounds in the village but were unsuccessful in raising enough funds to purchase it from owners Enterprise Inns.
It was put up for auction on Thursday last week where it failed to sell but was later bought by a private dealer subject to contracts being signed at the end of the month.
Mike Jones, who was one of the three people in the village working on the plans to take over The Fox and Hounds, said: “We do not know whether it has been sold to another landlord or to a developer and we will not be told until all of the contracts are signed over.
“The fear among of a lot of people in the village is that it could be boarded up for a long time and could become rat infested and look very ugly.
“It happened with Thistledome, opposite the pub, and it took 10 years for something to happen with that.
“This is very much the unknown for us at the moment.”
The pub closed back in December last year and plans were revealed in May to re-open it as a pub and community shop.
However, while the plans for the village to purchase the pub were unsuccessful, Mr Jones is still optimistic about the building’s future.
He added: “If it has been sold to a private landlord then we will regard it as a success because it would indicate there are plans for the re-opening of The Fox and Hounds as a pub.”