A HISTORIC pub will not be transformed into an Islamic centre after plans were scrapped due to concerns over parking.

The South Essex Islamic Trust applied to convert the former Barge Inn, in High Road, Vange into a “place of worship and a community centre”.

But Basildon Council has thrown the plans out, insisting there would not be adequate parking on site.

The proposal only included 10 car parking spaces, but due to the size of the land 58 would be required.

Kerry Smith, Independent deputy council leader said: “I am delighted that common sense has ruled the day.

“The Barge is not suitable for this kind of use and the council has already supported this group with other sites it rents.

“The pub is not suitable for any sort of religious group we’ve got to think about the nearby businesses that use that car park too.

“I think the charity should be selling it on.”

The trust purchased the inn and began fundraising for £250,000 to cover the full cost of the site last year.

It was sold for £450,000 at auction by Savills in September, for more than double the £200,000 guide price.

A spokesman for the charity said: “The council has refused the application, principally on highways grounds and notwithstanding that discussions were ongoing.

“The applicant is now considering their position.”

It has been empty for about five years after it shut in 2015. Historians believe the building could be up to 400-years-old.

The council report stated: “The proposed development would see only 10 car parking spaces provided for the proposed use, this would be a significant shortfall over the requirement of 58 spaces, as set out in the Parking Standards, for the buildings gross floor area of 580 square metres.”

In April the charity withdrew the plans and said it could not meet demands and reassurances needed by Basildon Council about noise and parking.

The plans were then resubmitted in August with the trust stating it had “done all it can” in communications with the council.