A village pub residents fought to save has been reduced to a heap of rubble.
South Holland District Council, which placed the fire-damaged Ye Olde Dun Cow on its community assets register, is under attack from campaigners in Cowbit for allowing the demolition to go ahead.
Owners Market Homes applied for planning consent to demolish the pub, saying the building was unsafe.
But Jonathan Matthews, spokesman for the Save Ye Olde Dun Cow Campaign, said: “It seems incongruous that in one breath the planning authority could recognise the obvious need for Ye Olde Dun Cow as a vital social hub and, in the next, encourage the developer to demolish a pub which goes back to the 1500s and which more than 600 people in the village, John Hayes MP and local district and county councillors wanted to be saved.
“So much for localism.”
He said the council chose not to invoke a rule that would have allowed a public consultation – denying residents a chance to play a part in the future of a pub that has had a key role in village life for many generations.
Mr Matthews said the council had “run roughshod over the wishes of the very people it purports to support”.