Plans to convert a former pub into a Tesco Express have been delayed while the chain seeks necessary planning permission.

Tesco wants to open a branch at the King’s Head, in Coggeshall Road, Braintree, which has been closed for the last two years.

But nearby businesses fear the store would put their livelihoods at risk, while neighbouring residents believe it will cause traffic problems at an already busy junction.

Tesco had originally hoped to begin building work last October, in preparation for opening this spring, but the company is yet to receive planning approval.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We are currently working with the council on the applications we need to open our store.

“We are really excited about the chance to serve the local community and we hope to open the store later this year.”

Planning applications for a new shopfront, lighting and signage, lodged in September, are still listed as “pending consideration” by Braintree Council.