A group of campaigners have launched a fight to save a 120-year-old building in Kettering which the owner wants to demolish and replace with 14 flats.
The former Buccleuch Hotel, which is currently trading as the Zen Spice Restaurant, was built in the late 19th century and traded as a hotel and pub for many years.
However, the building’s owner, Bedfordshire-based Nanco Estates, submitted plans earlier this year to demolish the site to replace it with flats – saying in the application that the interior could not be redeveloped and that there was no choice but to demolish it.
The newly-formed Facebook group Kettering Town Preservation Society has rallied to try and save the building and is hoping that the plans are thrown out when the decision is made by Kettering Council in May.
Kev Rush, who started the group which now has almost 300 followers of its Facebook page, said: “This is the only Victorian building of this era in this part of the town and there are no other examples of architecture like this left in the town.
“We are applying to English Heritage to get the building listed and are sending them photos of the exterior almost daily.
“English Heritage have said they can move quickly in circumstances like this, before the decision is made in May.
“I would also question whether there is a need for 14 new flats in the town, especially when there will be so much development around Warkton Lane.”
The group is being supported by Kettering councillor Michael Brown, who has been giving advice.
He said: “I have been giving advice about the planning system to the group.
“I don’t want to see this building pulled down and I’m happy to support the Preservation Society.”
For more information about Kettering Town Preservation Society, visit www.facebook.com/groups/1405864293008592.
The Telegraph contacted agents of the owners of the building to ask them for a comment about the plans but they did not respond.