MORE than 500 people have signed a petition calling on a empty village pub to stay as a boozer.

In January the Tower Arms on Weald Road, South Weald closed their doors for the final time suddenly with rumours surfacing it may be turned into a house.

A campaign was set up by ward councillor Ann Coe shortly after the closure demanding the building be added to Brentwood Council’s community asset list.

Under the Localism Act 2011, councils were given pwers to list buildings which can be bought by community groups within six months of it being put up for sale.

Since launching the petition, 517 people have added their signatures to it.

Mrs Coe said she is pleased with the response so far and now wants to get the figure up to 1,000 before handing the paperwork in at next month’s ordinary council meeting.

The Conservative member said: “The response so far is a clear message that people want to the keep the pub.

“It was a very popular place but I think the last owners tried to make it a bit too posh when it should have been a traditional village pub.

“I worked there for four years myself and I thoroughly enjoyed it and if it were to disappear completely from the village then South Weald would lose a big part of it’s identity.

“If it is run in the right way then the place will be an absolute goldmine.”

Anyone wanting to add their name to the petition can do so by visiting