Divisive plans to demolish a traditional pub and replace it with housing have been resurrected yet again.

Developer Constable Homes claims an alternative use is needed for the Sixteen String Jack pub site in Coppice Row, Theydon Bois, because the pub is “unviable” as a business.

The planners hope to knock down the public house and build three buildings with four two-bedroom maisonettes, three two-bed apartments and one two-bed cottage.

The proposal is the latest in a long line from Constable, which was refused permission for 11 flats on the site last year, and 13 the year before.

Upholding Epping Forest District Council’s decision against the larger development in March, planning inspector Claire Victory said its “adverse impacts” would significantly outweigh any benefits.

The proposal was too big, had too few parking spaces and would cause “significant harm” to neighbours by blocking their views, she said.

Despite repeated refusals, the developer maintains that the closed pub needs to go.

A planning statement from advisers Strutt & Parker said: “Smaller pubs are currently in decline because they cannot compete with larger pubs for space to serve food and compete with the wide range of restaurants and cafes available.

“It is considered that the location of the Sixteen String Jack on the periphery of the village, combined with its size and facilities, is a fundamental reason for the drop in sales due to changing customer demands.

“The various approaches to managing the pub over the previous decade demonstrate that the pub is unviable for more than temporary reasons.”

The report claims the new proposal is “substantially changed” from previously refused plans, set back from the road with less housing.

Strutt & Parker claim the three buildings would have a “typically Essex identity”, sympathetic to neighbouring properties.

The Theydon Bois Action Group consistently opposed the two previous applications.

Chairman Dr John Warren said the group would read the full plans before commenting on the redesign.

He said: “It is a case of whether this new design will take into account the reasons for refusal that the planning inspector gave.

“That is the way we will be assessing it.”

To comment on the plans, visit www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/iPlan before August 27.