A council has suggested an “alternative surface” could be used in a bid to settle an ongoing dispute over a pub car park.

Braintree Council has echoed planning officers’ suggestions the White Hart pub off Poole Street in Great Yeldham could lay a more stable form of gravel in its car park.

Pub owner Mathew Mason’s retrospective planning application to keep a new hard surface car park was refused for a second time by a planning committee last week.

A Braintree Council spokesman said: “The planning application for the refurbished car park area and marking out of the parking bays was refused due to the harmful impact on the historic character, appearance and setting of the Grade II listed property.

“Alternative materials such as resin bound gravel would be an effective resolution to improve the existing access, whilst also meeting the National Planning Policy Framework’s requirement to place great importance on the need to protect heritage assets like this one.”

It is not yet known if the pub will appeal the decision to reject its application.