A historic 'haunted' pub in Sheffield is a step closing to being awarded protected status - but the new owner is not happy.
An application to list Carbrook Hall in Attercliffe as an 'asset of community value' (ACV) has been recommended for approval by officers at Sheffield Council, The Star understands.
However, the final decision has yet to be made by Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for communities and libraries, and should he give it the green light, that decision would still be subject to call-in by the council's scrutiny committee.
Carbrook Hall has been closed since February, when it was sold by Punch Taverns to West Street Leisure, which leases out two other pubs in Sheffield.
Its new owner, which is seeking a tenant, claims the location makes the building unsustainable as a traditional pub but it could work well as a 'quirky' bar or cafe.
Heritage campaigners, concerned about the future of the Grade II-listed building, applied in March for it to be listed as a community asset.
Should the application - backed by Sheffield CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) - be approved, the owner would not be able to demolish or convert the premises without planning permission, and would have to give the community six months to make an offer should it be put up for sale.
Carbrook Hall is reputed to be one of South Yorkshire's spookiest buildings, with reports of mischievous spirits sending bottles flying and scaring customers by appearing in the toilet mirrors.
The building is also an important piece of Sheffield's history, having been used as a meeting place by the Roundheads during the Civil War.
West Street Leisure director Sean Fogg, who objects to the building being listed, said: "It's all right making it an ACV but it's no good if it's not earning money.
"At the end of the day we need to maintain this building, which is steeped in history, but it's also a business and has to be run as a business.
"We want to work with a good operator and enhance the building, while retaining its historical features.
"We will be disappointed if it is made an ACV as we feel the council should be welcoming investment and helping the new owners."
Dave Pickersgill, of CAMRA, said he had not received confirmation of the outcome of ACV applications for either Carbrook Hall or The Cherry Tree pub in Brincliffe Edge, despite decisions on both having been due last month.
He pointed out these should be the last ACV applications needed for Sheffield pubs, since Royal Assent was last month granted for the Neighbourhood Planning Bill, which would prevent pubs being demolished or converted without planning permission.