A PLAN has been submitted to knock down The Cavalier pub in Oxford to make way for flats, two years after its former landlord urged punters to “use it or lose it”.

Developer I&O Ltd has applied for planning permission to demolish the vacant 1950s Copse Lane pub and build a ground-floor shop and 36 student rooms above it.

It comes two years after then landlord Brian Minns warned the pub would be closed and turned into flats unless locals used it.

The 52-year-old, who moved to Devon after leaving the pub, said: “It was a good pub, and it will be really missed because there is nothing else down there.”

And Campaign for Real Ale branch secretary Steve Lawrence said: “We always oppose pub closures, but it is very difficult to stop these planning applications.

“While you can make a case against the closure of the only pub in a village, in these situations it is very difficult, even when there is strong community support.”

The planning application includes a 2,500sq foot convenience store and a four-space layby for shoppers. There would be no parking spaces for the students.

Oxford City Council will decide on the planning application in March.