As historic Royal Ascot gets underway this week a key piece of the town’s past faces another new threat.

The Royal Hunt pub has been the subject of a lengthy battle between developers and residents after two separate plans to build nine flats at the site were turned down by Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) in the past two years.

Despite these refusals developers Patrick Ruddy Homes are showing no signs of giving up after appealing to the Planning Inspectorate to overturn the decision.

Read about the community's efforts to save the pub here

Should the Inspectorate take the developer’s side, this could mean the pub is demolished - marking the end to an institution which was claimed to be a popular drinking establishment for royal huntsmen when Ascot Racecourse was founded by Queen Anne in 1711.

Are you ready for Royal Ascot? Read all the key info here

Reacting to the news, the Royal Hunt Pub Community Group (RHPCG), which has been campaigning for the site to be kept as it is for a number of years, urged residents to keep fighting for the pub’s future.

In an online post, the group commented: “Housing developers hope that you will get objection fatigue.

“Please don't let them win.”

“We ask for your patience, your resilience and your continuing support."

The pub has been closed since 2015 after Hawthorn Leisure had paid around £200,000 for the site as part of a package of properties a year earlier.

Shortly after the pub was designated as an asset of community value, meaning it was subject to additional planning protection.

Patrick Ruddy Homes (PRH) bought the site for £800,000 in 2017 - four times more than what Hawthorn Leisure paid for it.

The developer set about outlining its plans for the site, asking the council to approve proposals for them to build nine flats and demolish the Royal Hunt.

After a huge opposition campaign in which councillors and residents teamed up to object to the plans, the council refused the original application in March 2018.

PRH came back with a second application in December 2018 but it was refused again.

READ ALSO: Residents divided over plans to increase taxi fares from Royal Ascot

The RHPCG hope to purchase the site if the owners ever decide to sell the land, with more than £200,000 pledged from 106 members so far.

Residents can give the Planning Inspectorate their thoughts on the appeal online but must submit comments before July 9.

A decision date has not yet been decided.