The Black Bear in Wood, Dorset, is to remain a pub, after an appeal to convert it into a private home was thrown out by a government planning inspector.
Dorset-based pub operator Hall & Woodhouse, which owns the pub, had appealed against a planning decision rejecting plans to convert the building.
Three hundred local residents signed a petition for the Black Bear to be saved, and planning chiefs at Purbeck District Council decided the pub played an important role in the character of the village - which is a conservation area.
Locals were also said to be concerned that converting the building would lead to the loss of a right of way that crosses the rear of the pub.
A spokesman for Hall & Woodhouse said: "Clearly we are very disappointed by the rejection of the planning appeal. We hope now to keep the Black Bear on and establish it as a viable pub. We always like to explore different options for different pubs."
Mike Grime, development and building control manager for Purbeck District Council, said: "It has been cited as quite an important case nationally in terms of planning law and policy. It is the first one I have seen that has run successful arguments about contributions to the quality of the conservation area in terms of a building's use and not just how it looks. It was a pleasing decision."