The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has joined the fight to save a pub described as a lifeline for the community.

The national voluntary organisation that campaigns for real ale, community pubs and consumer rights, is backing the battle by residents to save the Worcester Park Tavern.

Residents fear the landmark pub, which is in a prime site near Worcester Park station, could be knocked down for flats, having been put up for sale in May, by owners Spirit Pub Company.

Pub regular June Fraser, 57, launched the campaign to save the "beautiful" pub, including a petition, which has gained more than 300 signatures and said CAMRA’s support would be invaluable.

She said: "It’s just a godsend for me really. I am absolutely delighted that they are supporting us. It really taken us up another level.

"This won’t get resolved overnight, it might take a couple of years but we will fight it."

Pubs preservation officer for the Kingston and Leatherhead branch of CAMRA David Parmee will be sitting on the campaign committee, which now meets weekly.

Mr Parmee said it was difficult to say if the campaign would be successful but that CAMRA would offer the group guidance, including planning and legal advice.

He said: "When the local community decides it wants to save a pub CAMRA gets involved addressing the needs of the community action group.

"It’s very important that this is the local community that takes the lead, it’s not for us to say ‘save this pub’."

The pub underwent a £1m revamp in 2002 but has since become dilapidated and run down.

A spokesman for Spirit Pub Company said the Worcester Park Tavern would remain open for the "short term" and the company would update staff on developments.

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