A historic Feltham pub was spared the wrecking ball at the eleventh hour after planning chiefs enacted emergency powers not used in 20 years.
Residents of St Dunstan's Road began a campaign to save the old Rose and Crown - most recently used as HQ to freight company Sovereign - after owners Stadium Housing Association wanted to knock it down to build flats.
The campaign, which attracted the support of veteran rocker and former Feltham resident Brian May, reached fever pitch on Tuesday as workmen for the developer moved in and began chopping down trees.
St Dunstan's Road resident Natalie Harries, 28, said: "They want to build high-rise flats on the site but it's not in keeping with the area because it is one of the few original roads left in Feltham with Victorian housing and we want to keep this original building."
After a public outcry officers from Hounslow Council stepped in at the last moment on Tuesday and slapped a notice on the building and surrounding streets, declaring it an 'emergency conservation area' meaning developers and residents of the houses will not be able to make any major changes to their buildings without consulting the council.
The Rose and Crown received its first ale licence in 1722 and in Napoleonic times a Dr Denman used the pub to form the 'Loyal Lads of Feltham', a home guard army to fight the French in case of invasion.