A FORMER village rectory could be turned into a wedding venue.

Plans have been submitted to Basildon Council to transform the Old Rectory, in Church Road, Bowers Gifford, into a function hall.

The building, which is next to Basildon Crematorium and Cemetery, has most recently been used as offices.

New owner Barking-based JA Phillips Holdings has asked for permission to host weddings, parties and corporate events until 1am at weekends.

The Old Rectory was on the market last year for £725,000.

Concerns have been raised about the location of the venue.

Aiden McGurran, Labour councillor for Pitsea South East, said:

“It seems an odd place for this sort of venue.

“I would definitely like to see some more exact details and I would be interested in local residents’ views.

“I am mindful of the fact that people could be sensitive to celebrations going on close to where their loved ones are buried.

“It is a lovely building, but I’m not sure the location is suitable for what the applicants are proposing.”

JA Phillips Holdings refused to comment.

Basildon Council will decide on the plans in the next few months.