NEIGHBOURS are uniting to save a Marston pub in danger of being demolished next year.

Developers want to transform the former Jack Russell pub in Salford Road into housing after it closed last October.

But residents in the area want to register the building as a community asset and run it as a pub themselves.

Campaigners are now gathering support in the next few weeks before the application is submitted.

Marston resident Martin Smith, 52, said: “It’s all very well developing land to get more houses, I think it’s needed in the Oxford area.

“But the pub is the only public place we can meet in Marston – there is nothing else at all. There’s no community centre, there is no social centre.”

Garage manager Mr Smith said residents were devastated when the pub closed The father-of-two said residents are worried the community will drift apart after having to gather in different pubs since the Jack Russell closed.

Mr Smith, a regular at the pub for the past 10 years, said villagers were prepared to buy the pub from the developer to ensure they save their only community hub.

He added: “It has affected us all. As a community we are not getting to the same places so we are not getting together like we used to.

“There are very few places where we can actually meet up and talk.”

Residents have now launched their Save the Jack Russell pub initiative, which has been supported by city councillor for Marston Mick Haines.

He said he thought it was “scandalous”

Marston had lost many of its pubs in recent years, including the Bricklayers Arms, which closed in 2011, and The Cavalier, which was demolished in 2012.

He added: “We do need more houses in Oxford in general but I think we need a pub in our area.

“There are too many pubs that this is happening to.

“We are losing our pubs left, right and centre, every day.”

Mr Haines said many residents thought the pub had become run down but were surprised to find it had been sold last year.

Communities can ask councils to register a building as an asset of community value and then have six months to find funds to buy them from a developer.

An application to determine whether prior approval is required for demolition was received by the city council earlier this month.

In the application, Shoqat Saddique said work on the site is expected to start next February.

Mr Saddique said he did not wish to comment at this time.