Plans to demolish a pub has been objected by town councillors.

The Duke of Wellington pub on Epping High Street had been set to be converted into a multipurpose use area following a planning proposal submitted by Punch Partnerships.

Epping Town Council held a public meeting to discuss the proposed residential and commercial three-storey development, including eight flats and two semi-detached houses on Tuesday, July 9.

Councillors concluded that the building is worthy of being saved and voted to oppose the application with Town Mayor Grahame Scruton saying "every effort" should be made to protect the building.

In a 31-page document submitted by Punch Partnerships, they stated: "In practice, it is presently intended that a similar use as existing would be retained on the ground floor of the premises.

"The new function would operate in a similar manner to the current use on site, albeit in a different, more modern format.

"The existing public house is located within a rather tired building that would need substantial investment to bring up to a high-quality standard."

Councillor Mari-Louise Whitbread said: "It's a great shame. It's part of Epping High Street; an historic feature in the High Street and it's a shame that it can't be used for community space or remodelled."

Town Mayor Grahame Scruton added: "I wouldn't want to see the building demolished. The inevitability that it won't be a pub is probably quite sound, but every effort should be made to save the building.

"This proposal is even more further forward than the other (the new flats on the neighbouring Half Moon pub site). It's sitting right on the pavement.

"We should make every effort to try and protect that building."

Residents had set up a ‘Save the Duke’ petition after Epping Forest District Council confirmed the pub was facing demolition.

Councillors took note of the several comments posted on social media within over the last few weeks, to which Mr Scruton responded: "Where are they tonight?"

The committee voted to object to the planning application and said there should be a fight to save the building.

Councillor Barbara Scruton, who chaired the meeting, said: "It's the only pub with the exception of the Black Lion. It's an amenity that we are losing."