PLANS have been put forward to convert a former Halstead pub into apartments.

The Bird in Hand pub, which was housed in a Grade II 17th century building in Chapel Hill, has been put forward for redevelopment into three flats.

The proposal by Ben Elvin Planning Consultancy is for two ground floor flats and one first floor flat.

In a report submitted to Braintree Council the company said: “This statement has considered the extent to which the public house could be taken forward as a viable proposition but has found the facility is no longer able to support such a use.

“There are alternative establishments in the locality, and the premises are limited by virtue of its location in a residential area where the hosting of events would give rise to local amenity issues.

“As such, in looking to convert the building, the applicant has sought to retain the important facets of this building and provide minimal alteration which respects the character of the building and enables its conversion to its optimum viable use.

“The applicant believes the scheme makes best use of the site, removes the noise generating use from this residential location and ensures the maintenance and upkeep of this heritage asset for future generations to enjoy.

“The proposal has been found to be acceptable in terms of the council’s policies relating to heritage impacts, highway safety, car parking, residential amenity and landscaping.”

Peter Caulfield, who set up the Hands Off Chapel Hill group, said it was good to see a vacant building put to use.

He said: “I don’t have a problem with the plans if it is being repurposed and providing necessary housing on an existing site.

“I think residents will be relieved it is not being used for another greenfield site.

“We have areas that need redeveloping, there is a site by the fire station that has been left for months so I think they would be happy for those to be dealt with as well.”

The plans also specified no extensions would be added onto the building.

The Bird in Hand closed in March last year.

The tenants chose to leave the premises after struggling to make a success of it.

The new proposal must be determined by October 8.

For details on the plans, visit the Braintree Council’s planning portal.