The owner of a landmark pub has set out his hopes for its future after a long-running and chequered planning history.
Businessman Nathan Plumley is adamant the former Green Lion in High Street, Rainham, should re-open as a community venue.
But first he is hoping to get permission to build a row of terraced homes in the rear car park of the historic grade-II listed building, which has stood in the heart of the town for 600 years.
Since he bought the site more than two year ago he has been "frustrated" as various proposals have collapsed.
He says this has been largely down to council officers "nit-picking" with their requirements.
Firstly, a scheme emerged to turn it into a children's nursery using the former pub garden as a play area for tots.
The experienced businesswomen behind the venture run a group of Hedgehogs schools across Medway and spent thousands getting surveys done which were required by council officers.
They were confident they had met all criteria and even had their logo stencilled on the outside in preparation to welcome the little ones they had already booked in.
However, they pulled out after "a last-minute stipulation" from the highways department which they felt was "too much red tape", declaring "enough was enough".
Nathan, who runs his own development company in north London, was then approached by a group who wanted to convert it into a microbrewery.
It was felt the new venture would prove popular with the increasing number of craft beer drinkers as well as breathe life into the vacant site.
But this scheme was short-lived as "the goalposts kept moving".
KentOnline also revealed how a former landlady of the nearby White Horse pub had expressed an interest.
Tracy Bessant was keen to take it over and entice locals back to the boozer with traditional favourites such as scampi and chips.
Now Nathan has submitted an application through his company Totteridge Developments to build a terrace of six homes at the back in a car park which would normally accommodate up to 50 vehicles.
He says he has come to the conclusion the closed-down pub should come back as another pub, not least to appease the planning department.
He said: "It needs to be something a little different, like a gastro pub, not one that just sells cheap beer and meals.
"With all the new housing coming into the area, I think there is a need to provide more in the town.
"All I want is to return it to its former glory and make the place breathe again. It's a lovely building and it needs be open for the town."
He is now on the look out for either another business person or a brewery who'd consider buying the building off him.
KentOnline asked people in Rainham what they would like to see become of the Green Lion.
Street cleaner Matthew Gransden, 21, who has lived in the town for eight years, said: "I wouldn't mind if it was pub again. You can never get enough pubs."
Gran Dee Broderick, 65, said: "I remember going in when it was just known as 'The Lion' and it was a traditional pub. Most of the pubs round here are just for blokes.
"We could do with something a bit more upmarket where you can take the family. I'd no idea it had been there so long. It's a shame to see it so run down. Perhaps more could be made of its history."
Helen Bannister, 67, said: "I would like to see some independent shops in there, like you see in Whitstable and Tenterden. Not everyone wants a Primark on their high street.
"It's no good putting another pub or restaurant in there like you have in Rochester. We don't have the tourist catchment, there's no castle, cathedral or Dickens here."
Sanjay Panchal, 42, who runs Rainham Post Office across the road, said: "I want it to be a pub again and the sooner the better. When it closed my business went downhill a lot.
"People would come in here for lottery tickets and snacks. It was run smoothly as a pub. It would be win-win for me."
Marion McNealey, 79, said: "Anything but another coffee shop. We've got a Chinese and Indian the other end of the high street. Perhaps something different like a Mexican or nice steak house would be good. At the moment it looks an eyesore."