A popular Leigh-on-Sea pub is set for an outdoor makeover to welcome summer visitors.
The Peterboat in Old Leigh has been given planning permission to demolish a cockle shed and extend its seating area ahead of the busy summer season.
The plans will see the car park resurfaced and its entrance on to the High Street widened.
The car park, which is used for seating in hot weather and parking in colder months, will have spaces reduced from 12 to 11.
A raised deck area will be extended and a new limestone patio will be installed to the west of the pub.
And a new bin area will ensure unsightly waste bins will no longer be visible to visitors and residents.
Speaking at Wednesday’s development control committee meeting, Carole Mulroney, councillor responsible for environment, culture and tourism, said: “I have to say I support this because at the moment what we have is a string of Euro bins all along the High Street. It’s unsightly. It’s an absolute nuisance and there’s virtually no pavement there.”
Two letters of objection were received from neighbours stating the building is “already over-extended” and fears over a loss of estuary views for neighbouring houses and businesses.
Sara Welton, owner of Sara’s Tea Garden in Old Leigh, said: “If it attracts more people then I think they have enough already. There are not enough toilets in there to cope with the number of people at the moment. They end up urinating in an alley opposite my business.
“When people drink they need to go to the toilet. I think they should apply to build a couple more toilets on the site. It annoys a lot of people down here.”
Leigh fisherman and town councillor Paul Gilson said the application was just the latest in many changes to the Old Town in recent years. He said: “It’s just another change to Old Leigh over the last 20 years. You can’t stop change. Change will keep happening and some will agree while others won’t.
“The whole face of Leigh has altered so much. It’s not a working port anymore. The cockle sheds are still working but they are only part-time.
“The Old Town is becoming a tourist trap with pubs and restaurants resting on its history.”