A TOWN centre bar which suddenly closed shouldn’t be reopened as a drinking establishment, a councillor has said.

Phil Turner, Basildon councillor for Billericay, said if Vetro bar had closed for good, a shop or restaurant would be better for the town.

The nightspot, in Western Road, Billericay, shut unexpectedly last weekend and has not reopened.

It launched in November 2012, after a lavish refurbishment estimated to have cost £555,000.

Before that, the bar was Stewarts Wine Bar, which had attracted noise complaints and antisocial behaviour.

Mr Turner said: “I wouldn’t like to see it open as another bar. It disrupts the local settled community.

“The people opposite in the cottages have borne the brunt of that but it has impacted right up Western Road.

“When Stewarts was open, the residents of Western Road had to put up with people being sick outside their doors and urinating up their walls and it’s not something anyone should put up with. 

“It would be nice to see retail go back in there. But I personally believe that won’t happen.”

Vetro has had no complaints from residents since it opened.

However, Mr Turner vowed to make sure people nearby had a good quality of life by continuing a community pub watch scheme if a new bar does take over.

The campaign logs incidents of antisocial behaviour, crime and noise in and around the High Street to encourage Essex Police and Basildon Council to tighten up licensing restrictions on pubs and bars.

It started in 2011 in response to Stewarts controversially extending its opening hours.

Mr Turner didn’t think it would be long before the venue opened again, whether that was as Vetro or something else.

He added: “If we get a bar the Billericay pub watch is still in operation. We keep a low profile but we are there and we will spring into action if necessary.” 

Despite numerous attempts from the Echo to contact the owners of Vetro bar, they have yet to respond.