BIKERS who have spent decades gathering at a historic pub on the A127 are rejoicing at a "glimmer of hope" after a town council objected to plans to replace it with a petrol station.

The Dick Turpin pub, which sits on the edge of the major road in Wickford, could be demolished and replaced with a new petrol station and drive-through coffee shop after plans were submitted by EG Group Limited.

The much-loved pub is widely used by people across south Essex and the site of dozens oi bikers and classic cars has become a regular fixture over the years.

Basildon Council is yet to vote on the plans, however Wickford Town Council has raised objections to the plan including the "loss of a heritage site".

Adam Ball, chairman of Southend Shakedown Association, welcomed the objection which has sparked confidence the pub could be saved. .

He said: “It is a sensible and good move from Wickford Town Council. They recognise what an important and historic site it is.

“It is so well-known through the whole of Essex, even London too, and beyond. It is a stopping point. Hopefully this will show people how important and historic it is, and that it should be protected.”

The pub has remained open since plans were submitted in February.

Wickford Town Council raised a number of reasons for objection, including the “loss of a heritage asset”, “unsafe exit onto the A127”, “duplication of the site at Nevendon interchange off the A127” and “current government policy being to phase out the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030”.

George Jeffery, Conservative councillor responsible for Wickford Park at Basildon Council, added: “I had been working with some town councillors to share some of the concerns around the heritage asset as it is historic. You see these old pictures before it became the A127 it is now, and you can see it then.

“It serves a large number of people too. Pubs are quite important to our culture too.

“I think it is crucial for the developers to engage with Basildon Council, the town council, and residents too.”