A PUB on the A127 “must be protected” due to its heritage despite plans to demolish the landmark venue, councillors have said.

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 back in February 2023.

The pub was built in the late 1920s and early 1930s and Essex County Council has called for the plans to be thrown out due to the buildings history.

The pub is not listed or protected, but has been described as a “non-heritage asset” by the county council’s place services as part of its feedback on the application.

The developer has hit back in a “letter of rebuttal” saying “the Dick Turpin is not a statutory listed building, it is not locally listed, and is not located within a designated conservation area”.

However, Basildon councillors agree it should be protected.

Luke Mackenzie, Conservative councillor responsible for the Pitsea South East ward, said: “I agree that the site should be protected.

“We have lost too many old pubs in the Basildon area, and it would be a shame to lose another.

“As a motorcyclist too, I often visit their bike nights, which brings people from across Essex and further.

“This is not needed. There are already two petrol stations along that part of the A127.”

Wickford Town Council has also objected to the plan citing the “loss of a heritage site”.

George Jeffery, Conservative councillor responsible for the Wickford Park ward, said: “It is long-standing in the area, with evidence of it being there before the A127.

“If the developer wants to see plans progress, they will need to constructively work with the planning department, and look at being sympathetic to the area."

A submission by the county council’s place services said: “Due to the building being a non-designated heritage asset its demolition requires justification.

“It is unclear if the building could still be viable as a public house.

“It is recommended that the retention or conversion of the building, including the removal of poor-quality extensions, is explored. The demolition of the building would result in the highest level of harm to the non-designated heritage asset.”