A BID to change a high street shop to a hot food takeaway and pizza delivery has been refused.

A planning application was submitted by Papa John's (GB) Ltd to change the Maldon Discount shop in the High Street to a hot food takeaway.

Proposed development included a new shopfront and wall-mounted ground floor extraction equipment.

However Maldon District Council refused the plans.

It said the proposal would result in “loss of an existing retail unit within a primary retail area” and would “create a continuous frontage of three non-retail units”.

Planning officers added in the decision this would be “detrimental” to the retail character of the area on the High Street.

Maldon Discount falls within the conservation area and is near numerous Grade II listed buildings.

The applicant considered the positive contribution the site makes to the character and appearance of the conservation area "un-significant" due to "lack of specific historic or architectural features".

But officers said the “incongruous” shopfront would appear "out of keeping" with the appearance of the street and would fail to preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area.

Papa John's hoped the new hot food takeaway and pizza delivery would operate from 11am to 11pm, seven days per week.

And the planning statement added most Papa John's outlets can provide "up to 20 jobs".