A landmark pub which closed after being sold to a developer has become the first official Asset of Community Value (ACV) in Waltham Forest.

Last month, Stonegate Ltd announced the sale of The Heathcote Arms in Grove Green Road, Leytonstone, three weeks before it closed down.

The company initially refused to disclosel the identity of the new owner, but it has now been revealed company Equity Estates was the purchaser. No planning application has been submitted for the site.

Campaigners gathered at the pub on Saturday to protest against its closure and it was announced the pub had become the first Asset of Community Value, following a successful application to Waltham Forest council.

ACV status, which was granted under new laws included in the Localism Act 2011, gives the community six months to raise sufficient funds to purchase the building if it is put up for sale.

The pub will also be given special consideration if an application for development or change of use is submitted.

Furthermore, the council now has the power to force a compulsory purchase of the building if it is under threat of being lost to the community.

One of the campaign leaders, Emma Griffiths, said: “With almost 700 signatures now on our petition and with mass support from celebs and the public on Facebook on Twitter it's clear that we won't stand down in our fight.”

For more on this story, see next week’s Guardian – out Thursday.