AN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY pub threatened with demolition may be saved following a victory by campaigners.

Residents in Sydenham have been fighting to save The Greyhound pub after it came under threat by developers.

And they have now succeeded in getting the pub greater protection after Lewisham Council agreed to create a new conservation area which included the building.

This means any plans to knock it down will now need the permission of the council.

Pat Trembath, chairman of community group The Sydenham Society, said: "We were delighted. It came as a surprise."

The pub, which has been on the site in Kirkdale since 1720, is under threat of demolition as part of plans to regenerate the area.

But campaigners argued the building was of architectural importance and a key part of the town's character.

The society put together a proposal for a new conservation area, including The Greyhound, Cobb's Corner and the former Post Sorting Office on Silverdale.

Lewisham Mayor Steve Bullock gave it the go-ahead at a mayor and cabinet meeting last Wednesday.

Bellingham councillor Alan Hall, who spoke in favour of the move, said: "Now if they want to demolish it, they have to go through the planning process."

Mr Bullock also agreed to extend an existing conservation area, known as the Thorpes.

The Greyhound was closed for business on August 13.

Milford Group, a firm specialising in planning and regeneration, is acting as the agent on behalf of Wealdfrost, a consortium which is buying the Greyhound site.

The redevelopment could include a replacement pub, shops and homes.

Milford Group managing director Steve Knott said: "It doesn't change anything at all. We've been consulting with the council since February."

Campaigners would like to see the pub reopen but say the priority was to save the building.

Liam Curran, 45, a public relations worker from Catford who campaigns to keep Lewisham pubs open, said: "It's great news, but this is just one step in the battle.

"There are so many pubs which need saving."