THE developer who bought the Old Falcon pub in St Neots has promised that the building would not be left to rot.

The Hunts Post has received letters and calls from residents concerned that the building was still derelict and in a state of increasing disrepair.

This followed a report earlier in the year that plans for a commercial and residential riverside development had been approved by Huntingdonshire District Council.

But pub owner, Dennis Whitfield, told The Hunts Post on Monday that the initial plans to develop the historic building had to be amended because the adjacent dental surgery on Market Square had changed ownership.

The previous owners had agreed to sell some of their land at the back of the practice to allow the development to go ahead. The new owners are said not to be interested in selling.

It meant new plans had to be drawn up which then had to be re-submitted to HDC, Mr Whitfield said.

"The new people at the dentist were not keen to sell the land at the back which has meant having to re-think how we're going to do this," he added.

After buying the property in 2005 for £1million, the Swavesy-based developer said he had been fighting an uphill battle to gain permission to demolish the 19th century boathouse - located behind the building beside the River Great Ouse.

They council finally agreed, but maintained that as far as possible, Mr Whitfield's plans should try to retain the historic building.

"We're still looking to provide a great development for the town," Mr Whitfield said. "We want to have a shopping complex as originally planned and also a restaurant and bars facing the river with residential units overlooking Market Square."

Mr Whitfield said his architects, Saunders Boston, had designed the new plans and that he was hoping to have a meeting with HDC's head of planning, Paul Bland, and other council officers in the near future to discuss progressing with the project.

"We're still keen to go ahead with the development and things are progressing," he added.