MAJOR concerns have been raised over the presence of asbestos at the iconic Admiral Jellicoe pub on Canvey – which is currently under demolition.

The health and safety executive (HSE) has stated it has been made aware of concerns and that it is investigating.

The ongoing saga surrounding the plan to transform the pub into flats appeared to have reached its conclusion last week when demolition started for a second time.

But now, the demolition has hit another hurdle, with Castle Point Council stating it had reported concerns to the HSE, which has added it is making enquiries.

The demolition has been plaqued with issues, with Castle Point Council initially issuing a stop notice, before the pub was engulfed flames in early July.

Developers, Branch Company Ltd, was asked to comment on the situation surrounding asbestos, but declined.

Former councillor, Ray Howard, said: “First of all, I have to say it is very sad to see the Admiral Jellicoe gone.

“You would hope that any conversations and studies relating to asbestos were completed before any work took place, and the developers should be happy to say that.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it did have asbestos, it is so old that most buildings of that age do.

“It is not a very spacious area, it is surrounding by homes on all sides, so I really do hope that all proper procedures have been followed. It is very worrying if not.”

Although it is unclear how long the Admiral Jellicoe has been on the island, it dates back to at least the early 1940s.

It initially closed in January 2017 and was set to be totally demolished and replaced with 40 flats and a row of shops.

Plans for the development were approved in December and hoardings were placed around the site.

However in June, Castle Point Council issued a stop notice to the developers who had begun to knock the building down. That demolition was pushed back with the council insisting it needed proper permission.

A Castle Point Council spokesman confirmed HSE had been informed of the concerns. A HSE spokesman added: “”HSE is aware and making initial enquiries”