BUILDERS have started transforming one of Shoebury’s oldest buildings into a Wetherspoon pub.
The JDWetherspoon chain is working on the £1millionplus revamp of the 250-yearold Parson’s Barn pub, in Frobisher Way.
Architects K.D Paine & Associates Ltd are behind the plans for the Grade II-listed building, which will be given a mezzanine floor, a beer store and a beer garden to the side.
The new pub is scheduled to open on February 18, providing more than 40 jobs.
Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: “We are looking forward to opening in Shoebury.
“We have enjoyed great success in the region and believe the new pub will enjoy the same success.”
A planning application was submitted to Southend Council in October, seeking permission for signs, a menu case and an amenity board, but this is yet to be given the seal of approval.
Shoebury councillor Roger Hadley said he was looking forward to the pub reopening.
He said: “I’m very pleased to see the work has started.
“The pub didn’t have a very good reputation in the past, so I’m very glad it’s a family-orientated company – it’s something the area needs.
“The extra competition it will provide with nearby pubs will help to keep prices low as well.”
Since closing in November 2012, the pub has been the victim of repeated vandalism.
Shoebury Society secretary Brian Sandford was concerned the pub would have been badly damaged if it had remained unused.
He hailed the Wetherspoon scheme as “great news.’’ He said: “The sooner something is done the better.
“We were worried that if it had been left, something might happen to it to damage it beyond repair.
“We’re more than pleased work has begun.”
The Wetherspoon chain runs 880 pubs nationwide, including the Last Post, in Southend, and the Elms, in Leigh.