An Islamic group’s plan to covert a dilapidated Wycombe pub into a community centre may be scuppered after the facility was listed as an asset of the community.

The Wycombe Islamic Society (WISE) announced in a Facebook post that it had completed the purchase of the Happy Wanderer pub, in Arnison Avenue.

The group said they are hoping to turn the building into a community centre. This may include it being put to educational use, or as a centre where activities can be held for the young and elderly.

Amjad Iqbal, WISE secretary, said the feedback he has received from the community is that there is a demand for the activities they wish to run.

Mr Iqbal said: “[We want] to do more community activities which we can’t do at a mosque. We want to do more outreach work.”

He added: “The pub’s decrepit. The whole place is in a mess. If we can have the facility and make things available in the community that’s better for everyone.”

WISE is now working on an application to be submitted to Wycombe District Council’s planning department to convert the use of the former pub into a community centre.

Mr Iqbal said the centre will be designed for use by all sections of the Wycombe community.

But just days after WISE's announcement, Wycombe District Council granted the Bowerdean Residents’ Neighbourhood Group's application to list the Happy Wanderer as an asset of the community.

Wycombe District Council’s decision to allow the former pub to be listed means that residents can purchase the property when it goes on sale.

Since WISE has already bought the building, the neighbourhood group said they now hope the listing will make it harder for planning permission to be passed.

A spokesman from the group said: “I am hopeful they [Wycombe District Council] will reject that planning now because it has been listed as an asset of the community.

“It gives residents the opportunity to purchase it and to develop it to a community pub.

“There are a lot of people in the area that want to see it as a facility open to everybody. What WISE is saying is that it’s not going to be a community facility. I think that a pub is the best thing.”

However, WISE maintains that their desire is the facility will be used by all sections on the community and that their plans have been misunderstood by some residents.

Mr Iqbal said: “If people don’t have the information they should contact us and find out.”

He added: “We are against extremism. It’s about working in the community and working together.”

Wycombe District Council confirmed that the pub has been listed as an asset of community value following a successful application made by ‘the Happy Wanderers Locals’.