A LANDMARK building will never become a pub again, according to councillors.

During a Canvey community forum, residents were told the King Canute, in Canvey Road, cannot be used as a pub because of a legal agreement between former owners the Stonegate Pub Company and new owners Novellus.

Peter Greig, chairman of Canvey Town Council, said: “When that pub closed, I believe it was written into the agreement that it would not reopen as a pub.

“What the new owners are going to do with it, I don’t know, but we can’t make it a listed building because it’s had too many modifications.”

Veteran Tory councillor Ray Howard said he wanted to overturn the contract in order to welcome a pub chain such as Wetherspoon or Harvester to the island.

He added: “My argument has been to try and challenge the covenant. They get weaker by the day and I think we need to see if there’s a chance to challenge it. It’s a major frustration and it’s very annoying.

“I know Wetherspoon or a Harvester would love a place like that on Canvey in that location.

“Maybe this covenant is the reason the Co-op application fell through. If they couldn’t sell the alcohol then maybe this is why.”

One Canvey resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “We need a family- friendly pub. At the moment, if we want that we have to go off the island and spend our money elsewhere. It’s a shame.’’ Stonegate sold the pub in May 2014.

Property investment firm Novellus Capital, which had an application to build a vet practice and two houses on the site turned down by Castle Point Council last month, refused to comment.

It is believed another planning application for the site will be submitted soon.

Stonegate said it did not believe the building was sold with a covenant.