A PUB could be flattened to make way for a housing development.

New owners of the pub have submitted plans to Basildon Council to use the site of the Bull Inn, London Road, Pitsea, to build 23 homes.

The business, which was originally called the Prohibition, was put on the market for £400,000 in April.

It is not yet known if the new homes would be houses or flats, but a number of them will be reserved as affordable housing.

Residents in Pitsea want the Bull, which is still serving, to stay open.

Sarah Jones, 34, of London Road, said: “I would much prefer it to stay a pub. There is already enough housing around here.

“That many new homes will result in a lot more cars and a lot more traffic. I just don’t think we have the infrastructure to cope.

“I have lived here eight years and we have never had any problems. I’ve been in there a few times myself and I think it could definitely become a successful pub again. It would be a shame to get rid of an original building.”

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, added: “It’s been a pub for as long as I can remember. It is a part of the history of Pitsea and it would be a shame to see it gone for ever. The Railway pub on the High Road has already gone because of the regeneration, so soon we are going to be left with nothing.”

The Bull Inn has a history of controversy and faced closure in the past due to a number of brawls, reports of underage drinking and staff drinking on duty.

Between January 2009 and July 2010 there were 26 incidents recorded by police in a damning report.

Aiden McGurran, Labour councillor for Pitsea South East, said: “I think losing the pub would not be great for the area, because Pitsea is not very well catered for. I hoped someone would take it over and run it is as business.

“In the present economic climate I realise there is a lot going against pubs, but it would be such a shame to see another one in Pitsea disappear.

“The Labour Party is always keen to see that there are affordable homes being built, but I suspect residents will have their concerns about the type of accommodation it will be.”

J & M Gatrell Partnership has put in the plans.

The council will have the final say.