A POPULAR restaurant in a seaside town will be converted into homes.

Adrian Roberts has been given permission to create four flats at the former Maffia’s Bar and Brasserie, in Frinton Road, Holland-on-Sea.

Permission was also granted to convert the ground floor of the restaurant, which served modern British cuisine for more than 20 years, for use as a dwelling.

Holland-on-Sea Residents' Association objected to the plans and had called for a decision to be made by Tendring Council's planning committee rather than officers.

The association said: “There is no documentary evidence provided to show that the business is not a going concern, and it’s conversion would entail the loss of three full time employees and one part time, as well as the loss of a local well supported business.

“Despite a full marketing report being provided it appears that the only marketing that has been done is an advert in their window, and an entry on the Rightmove website.

"There is no evidence that proper marketing has been done for the sale of this property in the relevant trade magazines or journals.".

It added that the restaurant was part of the neighbourhood centre and should not be turned into homes.

A report said the property was marketed as a restaurant for more than six months, but that the owners were "disappointed" that there was no formal interest

It added|: "There is a large number restaurants, pubs and hospitality establishments currently on the market, evidencing the decline in the demand for this type of commercial property.

"Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy in general, we predict that the state of the

commercial hospitality market is highly likely to further decline during these uncertain times and beyond."

The plans were approved by council officers on September 3.