AN iconic Canvey pub has closed its doors to the public for the last time.

Staff at the King Canute, in Canvey Road, served the final customers over the weekend after it was revealed earlier this month the pub had been sold to developers.

Stonegate Pub Company, which owned the pub, is not saying who the historic building had been sold to or what it will be turned in to.

Councillors are worried about the future of the building, which was used as a base for the Armed Forces to save residents from the 1953 floods.

Ray Howard, Conservative councillor for CanveyWest, said: “The pub goes back a long time.

It is a landmark on Canvey. It played a major part during the 1953 floods.

“It is a great shock to the community that it has been closed and it has caused great concern about its future.”

Shocked residents started a petition to try to keep the pub after it had been revealed Stonegate had sold it to a mystery buyer.

More than 500 people have signed a petition.

However, Canvey Island Independent Party leader, Dave Blackwell, is urging those behind the petition to keep hold of it in case a planning application is made to develop the site.

He said: “I have been in touch with Essex County Council’s historic buildings department, and I have been advised that although it is not a listed building, its age and design will be taken into consideration when and if a planning application comes in.

“I think the people behind the petition should hold on to it for now, just in case a planning application from developers comes through.

“I am confident that because of its age and design, it will be very difficult to develop the site.