Plan to transform Leigh pub into hotel gets planning approval

Fresh plans to convert a former pub in Leigh into a hotel have been granted planning permission by Southend Council.

Plans to turn the empty Ship pub on New Road in Leigh were initially handed planning permission in July but updated plans were sent to the council soon after.

The new plans expanded the hotel from 14 to 15 rooms and adds a second storey extension to the rear of the building. It will also have seven parking spaces and a taxi drop-off point.

At a Development Control Committee meeting on Wednesday, councillors unanimously granted planning permission for the hotel after planning officers said the extension would “not worsen the relationship of the building with the neighbouring properties”.

The plans have been met with opposition from five neighbouring residents, as well as Leigh Town Council.

A letter from the council states: “The application does not protect the amenity of immediate neighbours and surrounding area. The proposed 15 bedrooms are considered too many as it will add to the parking stress in the immediate area with the provision of only seven spaces.”

One resident spoke at the meeting and told councillors: “This is seven spaces for 15 cars. The impact is going to be felt in surrounding areas.

“Parking is already atrocious in these roads and this is being built on a road notorious for accidents. The goods going to hotel by lorries and other goods vehicles will also cause traffic jams.”

He added that the building will impact his home, blocking views and overshadowing his property.

He labelled it a “massive intrusion”.

An agent speaking on behalf of the applicant said dismissed the concerns noting that the highways department has reviewed the plans and not raised an objections.

He said that it would also “improve the irregular parking that happens outside the property at present” and said it would have little impact on neighbouring properties.

The Ship dates back to the 1800s and operated as a pub until closing suddenly in 2017 due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

The application to turn the pub into a hotel has come from Paul Barthaud, director of East Anglia Pub Company which also operates the popular Peterboat pub in Leigh.

Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter