A community's hopes of resurrecting a historic former village pub have been boosted after a court battle.

The Pheasant Inn, in Ballinger, operated from the mid-19th Century, but falling numbers led to its doors closing for the final time in 2008.

Its owner, pensioner Jane King, had attempted to run it partly as an up-market restaurant, but her business plans failed and she now wants to sell up and move out of the village.

However, community members in Ballinger, a small settlement near Great Missenden, want to return it to its original state.

Chiltern District Council designated the pub as an "asset of community value" in 2013, giving it extra protection from development and allowing community groups a chance to buy and re-open it if put up for sale.

Mrs King tried to overturn the listing, but has now seen her case rejected by Judge Anthony Snelson at the First-Tier Tribunal.

In a ruling made in late July, but only recently published, Judge Snelson said there was a chance the pub could re-open in the future - given the Ballinger Community Group's efforts.

The group behind the campaign includes business-savvy people, who had made two realistic offers in the past, he said.

"I do not accept that the idea of re-opening the Pheasant as a community pub is unfeasible," he continued.

"Rural pubs certainly face difficult trading conditions, but some succeed.

"The extent to which the local community is behind a rescue is likely to be a crucial factor. There is evidence of strong backing in the village for BCG's plans.

"Moreover, the group includes hard-headed people with commercial and professional backgrounds and is clearly not fuelled by sentiment alone.

"The offers already made are testament to the fact that it has the means of raising a substantial sum."