A NEW multi-million Wetherspoon pub will be built in Basildon despite the site temporarily being turned into a furniture store.

Wetherspoon bosses have confirmed they have agreed for a short-term lease of the former Poundworld in East Walk while plans are redesigned for a new £3million pub including a roof terrace.

Basildon Council gave the plans the green light nine months ago, but no work has taken place on creating the promised new three-storey pub close to the East Square cinema development.

This week worried residents feared the pub plan had been scrapped as they spotted a new furniture store being kitted out, but Wetherspoon bosses have moved to allay those fears.

Craig Rimmer, councillor responsible for economic stimulus and tourism, said: “It is only a temporary thing.

“The spaces need to be used in the time. I think they are sub-letting it to get the space in use and make money on it in the meantime.

“But it is very much a temporary thing. It is much better to have something there that people can use, and drive footfall to the town centre.

“So, it is good news.”

Despite being asked by the Echo, Wetherspoon would not reveal who the site had been let too, and who was behind the new furniture store.

They were also unable to reveal how long the “short-term lease” is.

The original approved plans were set to accommodate an open bar, dining, and drinking areas on the ground floor.

The first floor was planned to comprise of an open bar, dining, and drinking areas, complemented by external roof terrace areas.

And the second floor was due to be for staff facilities and meeting rooms.

However, in November, Wetherspoon confirmed they will be putting in a new scheme in for planning in “due course”.

Eddie Gershon, a spokesman for Wetherspoon, said: “Wetherspoon remains committed to the site.

“Wetherspoon has completed a short-term letting on the site.

“We don’t have any dates yet for developing the site ourselves.”