A PUB has been slammed by Southend Council for carrying out tree pruning works “poorly” and without planning permission.

The Bellhouse Pub, in Rayleigh Road, Eastwood, has been criticised in a report ahead of a development control committee meeting on Wednesday.

At the meeting, councillors will look at the pub’s planning application to chop down one tree and prune five other trees.

Plans also state that bosses are looking to replace the common ash tree that is set to be chopped down.

However, the planning application has been revised since its submission and is now retrospective in part as whilst the application was pending “tree works were undertaken”.

The pub, described as an “idyllic pub with country charm”, wants to chop down the tree to improve access for both cars and pedestrians, and claims the trees are interfering with overhead cables.

John Barnes, head of professional services at Shepherd Neame, said: “We are aware that some pruning work was carried out on a small number of trees at The Bellhouse prior to the determination of a previously submitted planning application.

“As outlined in the application, the trees had become entangled with overhead cables and were impacting vehicle access.

“We are working closely with the council on a range of mitigation works, including the planting of a new tree within the grounds.”

The report to the council stated that although the application was “pending”, works were undertaken to prune the trees that were not approved or “carried out to the standard and quality required”.

The report added: “Trees have been poorly pruned.

“The work as specified on the application would have been acceptable if carried out correctly.

“The poor standard of work can be corrected to an extent by employing a qualified tree surgeon to prune the stubs to branch collars and branches to appropriate pruning points.”