PLANS to transform an iconic Southend party shop into 11 flats have been thrown out over concerns about noise from a neighbouring pub.

The Sancto party store, in London Road, closed in September last year after 70 years business and was sold for more than £1million weeks later.

Proposals were submitted to Southend Council in April to convert the building into new homes but council planning officers have now raised numerous concerns about the plan and rejected the proposal.

Southend Council officers feared the plan, by ITB developments, failed to “demonstrate a satisfactory living environment” due to noise from nearby businesses. The officers worried that noise from the neighbouring Park Tavern Pub, on London Road, would have a significant, negative impact on anyone living in the homes.

Milton Labour councillor, Maxine Sadza, backed the refusal and believes the building should be used as a shop again.

She said: “It is really good news and I think it can be called a positive outcome to this situation.

“It is a historical site, it is not a good space in the first place, and it can easily become a case of overdevelopment, the Park Inn being next door poses too many issues with noise as well.

“Maybe it should be kept as a shop, ideally a big shop.

“I am still sad about Sancto people just aren’t going out as much and spending as much with the current cost of living crisis and you can see things being closed down as a result, clubs are one example of this.”

The other primary reason for the refusal is the development failing to offer mitigation of the impact of the 11 flats on the natural environment, habitats, and species.

The officers report said: “I do not consider the noise impact assessment provides sufficient information to reassure me that new users of the proposed dwellings will be protected from noise arising from the operation of the Park Tavern.

Sancto was run by last owners Mirjam and Alan Solly for over 52 years, moving to its final premises in the late 60s before closure.