A derelict North Staffordshire pub is set to be given protected status.
The bid has been made by the Friends of the Royal Oak – a community group made up of around 25 locals – which wants to bring the pub back into use.
A decision is due to be made this week, and council officers have recommended the application is approved.
It comes after plans were lodged to develop the site.
Chairman of the group, 59-year-old Andrew Maxfield, of Cheadle, said: “The idea is to restore the Royal Oak back to a coaching inn – a B&B type place with a restaurant and café, and a social space for the community to use.
“The biggest challenge is going to be gathering the funds to do it with. We are looking at a community share scheme for the purchase of the building and the work.
“I think it would be a huge boost for the town. The last thing we want is more flats on the High Street.”
Last year a planning application was lodged by Gough Investments to turn the pub – which has been closed for seven years – into apartments. The plans were met with opposition from residents, traders and Cheadle Town Council.
They said the Grade II-listed building should reopen as a pub and hotel to give the town’s economy a boost and capitalise on the tourist trade linked to nearby Alton Towers.
If a pub is granted ACV status, the registration is a material planning consideration which gives councils additional reasons to reject any proposal involving the loss of the pub.
If the property comes up for sale, the community is given the opportunity to bid for it. The legislation also gives councils powers of compulsory purchase if the community use of the asset is in danger of being lost.
ACV status is valid for five years and can be renewed.
A council report on the Royal Oak application states: “The land and buildings were used in the recent past to further the social well-being and social interests of the local community. As this property has existed as a public house for over 200 years, then a closure period of seven years should be considered relatively ‘recent’.
“It is realistic to think that the building or land will continue to be used in a way which will further the social well-being and social interests of the community within the next five years.”