A HISTORIC Canvey pub is to be turned into a convenience store.

Staff at the King Canute, in Canvey Road, served its final customers two weeks ago after it was revealed last month it had been sold to developers.

Owner the Stonegate Pub Company has not revealed to whom it has sold the building.

However, Castle Point Council has confirmed the pub is to be turned into a convenience store, with work due to begin in four weeks.

No planning permission will be required as the conversion comes under legislation allowing minor changes to be made without permission. It is believed no change will be made to the exterior of the property, which was used as a base for the Armed Forces to save residents from the 1953 floods.

People have said they are happy the building will be staying put.

RayHoward, Conservative representative for Canvey West, said: “I am delighted to know the building is not to be demolished.

It has been there all my life and it really is a landmark.

“Residents would really have been upset if it was demolished.

Now we have to make sure the character of the building is not changed.”

More than 500 people signed a petition calling for the pub to be saved after it was revealed it had been sold to a mystery buyer.

Joan Liddiard, town councillor and chairman of Canvey Community Archive, said: “I want the building to be used, but don’t want the front to be changed.’’ The identity of the buyer is still not known, but Tesco has confirmed it is not looking at the site. Canvey resident, Joe Mander, who is filming a documentary on the history of the building, said: “It is good to know it is still going to be there.

“It would be nice if it was used as a museum to show its history, but there are worse things.”