THE half moon sign which hangs over one of the region's pubs is set to stay after punters objected to plans to remove it.

A row over the sign outside the Half Moon Inn, in Durham, kicked off after pub company Mitchell and Butler, which owns it, applied for planning permission to remove it.

The Durham branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) had said it would be a shame to lose the "iconic" sign, which was described as a city landmark.

After an objection by the group, supported by the City of Durham Parish Council, the company has now withdrawn the plans, though its still hopes to go ahead with a refurbishment of the Victorian pub, in New Elvet, if it is granted planning permission by Durham County Council.

Mitchells & Butlers spokesperson: “We’ve submitted plans for an extensive refurbishment of the Half Moon which will give the central Durham pub a whole new look and feel.

"We had considered making alterations to the sign, however during planning consultations we have decided against making these changes.”