PLANS to convert a historic Oxford pub into a house have been given the go-ahead.

Oxford City Council granted permission on Tuesday for the Bricklayers Arms in Church Lane, Old Marston, to become a four-bedroom house, with five new homes in the grounds.

Final orders were called at the pub last December.

Chairman of Old Marston Parish Council Charlie Haynes said: “The parish council is always very sad when the village loses a facility.

“But it obviously wasn’t worth the brewery running it as a pub. Unfortunately if you don’t use it, you will lose it.”

He added: “It will be nice to see the pub not just stand there empty for years, as long as the development is sympathetic to the area and they don’t change the exterior.”

Despite the closure of the Bricklayers Arms, Old Marston still boasts four pubs – the Victoria Arms, Jack Russell, Red Lion and Three Horseshoes.

Diana Berry, landlady at the Red Lion in Oxford Road, said: “I would rather have seen it as a pub and there aren’t that many pubs in Old Marston any more. A bit of competition is good for people.”

The Bricklayers Arms was sold earlier this year having been marketed by estate agent Savills for £500,000.

The redevelopment is being undertaken by Aylesbury-based Rectory Homes.

City planners felt the new houses formed an “appropriate visual relationship” with the building and that it would preserve the character of the Old Marston Conservation Area.

Permission was originally given last month but the plan was reconsidered because comments received from neighbours and Oxford Civic Society were not included in the original reports.

The society said the plans represented over-development of the site, adding: “They would be too close together without space and daylight between them and a potentially good site would have been wasted.”

Neighbours also raised concerns about the increased amount of traffic and disruption during the construction period.