PROTESTERS have launched a campaign to prevent a country pub being turned into houses.
An application has been sent to Kirklees Council by the owners of The Brown Cow at Scammonden, Mark and Denise Lilley.
They want permission to turn the former coaching in on Saddleworth Road into five houses.
They are also seeking permission to extend the property, which was built in 1839 by the Blackburn Brewery.
But a group of protesters has now formed to save the pub.
The 40-strong group is run by a committee of six.
One of the committee is Susan Russell, who lives a mile from the pub at Ringstone, near Barkisland.
Mrs Russell said the pub was a well-used meeting point for groups from both sides of the Kirklees Calderdale border.
She added: "A lot of people have a lot of ties with that pub, because it has been there for such a long time.
"Local community groups -including our church at Deanhead - will lose a valuable meeting place.
"It is not the sort of area where you just see people in passing, because houses are spread out.
"There are not many venues around."
Mr and Mrs Lilley told the Examiner they wanted to turn the pub into houses because it was not viable as a business any more.
They bought and refurbished the pub in 2003.
It began to lose money, so they put it up for sale in March last year - but said there were no takers.
In a bid to avoid further cash problems they decided to close the pub and apply to turn it into houses.
However, Mrs Russell and her fellow campaigners feel measures could be taken to make the Brown Cow profitable again.
She said: "We understand that the Lilleys need to call it a day and move on. But we don't want to lose our pub. It could be profitable again.
"It is in a unique position on a walking route and cycleway. It's a great draw for people who go out driving.
"It is close to a huge number of properties.
" It should have a buyer and we are willing to find that buyer."
The group has started a leaflet campaign, urging people to object to the planning application.
The consultation ends on Monday, February 20.
You can register your views by writing to planning officer Richard Smith at Civic Centre 3, PO Box B93, Huddersfield, HD1 2JR.
Quote application number 2006/90246.
Alternatively, you can register your views at www.kirklees.gov.uk/business/planning/planning.asp