A couple who wanted to convert their struggling village pub into houses, have had their plans blocked by European human rights law.
Alistair and Anne Fraser were told they could not convert the Cambo Arms Hotel in Kingsbarns, Fife because it was a "pivotal part of village life" even though it has been closed since November.
All the Frasers' efforts to sell the pub had failed and so they decided to apply for planning permission to divide the building into two houses.
But residents and the Campaign for Real Ale protested and eventually Fife Council turned down the plans, arguing that every village needs a pub.
There has been a pub in the village for 400 years and planners said human rights legislation from Europe had made them consider this and every aspect of an application in what they called a "holistic approach".
The council used Article One of the human rights legislation to reject the plans. It means the state can block a move to alter the use of a property which is deemed to be against the public interest.
But the Frasers are said to be disappointed by the decision and are considering what to do now. A friend said the couple would have been sorry to lose the pub, but had made a business decision.
"I think everyone's got human rights and it appears to be a big issue," the friend said. "But I don't know if those extend to the right to have a pint at your local."