CALLS have been made to demolish The Foresters Arms immediately after two arson attacks within four days.

The pub in Marine Parade only shut earlier this month, to make way for the major Marine Plaza development, but arsonists have already struck twice.

The pub was set on fire at 10.30pm on Tuesday having been set on fire in the early hours of Saturday morning also.

Fire Investigator Martyn Hare said: “We believe this fire was deliberately started - which makes this incredibly frustrating for firefighters to have to re-attend so soon after the initial fire on Saturday morning.

“We are working closely alongside the local authority and the owners of the land to ensure the premises are secured, to prevent this from happening again.

“I’d like to thank our crews for another highly efficient and professional response.”

The Foresters Arms is to be demolished and replaced with a complex of 822 homes, shops and restaurants.

Developer, the Inner London Group, told the Echo it was due to meet with demolition firms this week, and hopes to demolish the site as early as next week.

Southend councillor Matt Dent claimed it needs to be demolished as soon as possible before it mimics the Esplanade - a pub which has been a target for arsonists multiple times and now stands fire-damaged as a blight on the seafront.

He said: “It definitely needs to go, and the sooner the better.

“We have had so many issues with fires on the seafront, particularly at the old Esplanade, and we can all agree that does not look good at all.

“The last thing we need is another fire, or a couple more, at the Foresters Arms, and then we could have the burnt out shells of two pubs on our seafront.

“It is worrying, it is clear that the site is not secure, and it is a safety concern.

“Fortunately no-one has been hurt so far and hopefully it stays that way.”

Firefighters extinguished the blaze on Tuesday night by 11.55pm.

They used an aerial ladder platform to allow them to spray water on the building from height.

The pub, famous for its entertainment, closed on June 9.