A BID to demolish a village pub and replace it with a convenience store and flats has been turned down.

The Queen's Head, in Southminster, closed in 2022 after "years of steady decline".

Developers said attempts to find another pub operator have been unsuccessful.

Their planning application said: "There is a relatively high number of other drinking establishments in Southminster for a village its size and given the failure of the previous pub business and lack of interest from other pub operators an alternative use of the site is needed.

"The applicant has established that there is strong demand from retailers for a convenience food shop in this location."

The plans also included another commercial unit and three upstairs flats at the Queens Street site.

The parish council objected to the application, saying it wanted to preserve the façade of the building.

The Maldon and Dengie Branch of the Campaign For Real Ale also objected.

It said: "We have been able to determine that Drake and Company has only been marketing the property since June 2023.

"Other public houses in the district have been sold successfully in the past following a lengthy marketing period, the most recent instance being the Queen Victoria in Woodham Walter, which was very recently sold as a going concern after being marketed for nearly two years.

"We think it is only right that this property should be marketed for the full 12-month period before the application is considered."

There were also objections from neighbouring properties.

One said: "The building is unique and has a definite beauty about it.

"To have this demolished would be an absolute travesty."

They claimed it would lead to more traffic and noise, adding: "We totally object. Why should our lives and home be compromised for greed, not for care for our community and our village?"

Maldon District Council refused the plans.

The council said there was not enough information to prove the pub was not viable, the size of the proposed development was "overbearing" and use of the car park would have an impact on neighbouring properties.

A parallel application which would have seen part of the pub building demolished was also turned down.