PLANS to transform a landmark Leigh pub have come under fierce fire from Leigh Town Council.

The proposal to turn the Ship in New Road, Leigh, into a 14-room boutique hotel was broadly welcomed when it was first revealed in May.

The application, which has now been formally submitted, reveals a two-storey extension would be built to accommodate a hotel with 15 bedrooms and en-suites, and seven parking spaces.

The proposal, from the East Anglia Pub Company, which owns the nearby Peter Boat pub would provide a much-needed facelift for the Ship, which dates back to the 1800s and operated as a pub until it closed suddenly in March 2017 “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

However, Leigh Town Council has objected to the development ahead of its consideration by Southend Council’s development control committee.

The town council said: “While we are keen to see an accommodation provision in Leigh and refurbishment of the building, the application is considered an overdevelopment and does not respect its surroundings in terms of height and bulk.

“It would not contribute positively to the space between buildings and its relationship to the public realm. The application does not protect the amenity of immediate neighbours and is therefore overall contrary to policy.”

The committee added: “15 bedrooms was considered too many as with guests and employees, it will add to the parking stress in the immediate area with only the provision of seven spaces.”

Peter Wexham, Lib Dem councillor for Leigh, previously welcomed the proposal saying it was “the best thing that could’ve happened”.

He said: “I don’t know the details they are asking for in terms of extensions and the number of rooms but developers do tend to try to push too much in the beginning and we have to keep as many parking spaces as we can. “I’m concerned though with the prospect of having another pub or a block of flats there. A hotel would be much more in keeping. I hope they can sort it out.”