A Kingston pub is to stay "essentially the same" despite campaigners' fears over a planning application.

Patrons and staff of The Cricketers, by the Fairfield, were worried that the application to change the use of the building to allow it to be used as a restaurant would mean the end of the pub as they know it.

They were keen to keep the vibe of the pub and the 100-capacity music venue upstairs intact, and were worried it would be turned into a restaurant or a shisha bar.

But the freeholder plans to keep the boozer relatively unchanged.

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Ralph Ford, the application agent, said: "He wants to spruce the place up a bit, and add the ability to sell food.

"The pub is going to stay essentially the same. And we're not planning to change anything about the venue upstairs.

"There seems to have been some misunderstanding about this, probably based on the phrase 'change of use' in the application, but this is just a planning term."

The planning application was withdrawn on October 9, three days before public comments closed, because council officers told them the application was unnecessary, and the change of use is allowed under planning law.

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Nervous campaigners, including pub manager Ciaran O'Keeffe, started efforts to have the pub listed as an "asset of community value" which would become a consideration to the council and planning inspector if new applications were submitted.

Mr O'Keeffe said: "Over the years I have watched countless people find work, accommodation and lifelong friends through The Cricketers, and have seen the community that the pub has created help people in so many different ways.

"From providing welcoming and supportive acoustic nights for young musicians, often with learning difficulties, to perform their music live in front of an audience, to being available to assist elderly residents with everyday tasks, such as reading and understanding their post and even helping with a weekly food shop when conditions outside are icy."