A PROPERTY developer has insisted he will win his appeal to turn the Old Vienna restaurant into a block of flats.

Brian Strickland, managing director of Sandhurst New Homes, has spoken out after Southend Council’s development control committee refused plans to demolish the Old Vienna restaurant in Leigh and create a three-storey block of flats.

The controversial decision to reject the 15 flat plan in Eastwood Road saw Mr Strickland leave the meeting immediately, making clear his intention to appeal.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: “Southend Council find themselves in an unenviable position of speaking against a development that it has recommended for approval.

"I do feel sorry for the people in the planning team, they have been short staffed for some time, but they did do a good job working with us on this plan.”

The plan was refused because it was claimed it would to be too big for the area, at three storeys, and an insufficient contribution was made towards affordable housing or education.

Councillors also raised concerns about parking on Tudor Gardens, as the homes would have just one parking space allocated per flat.

Council planning officers had approved of the plans, saying the 15 flats would be a better use of the site than it remaining a former restaurant, which closed in 2016, and now derelict site.

A spokesman for the council, said: “Any applicant has the right to appeal a decision by the development control committee, with appeals being heard by the Planning Inspectorate.

"As the developer for the former Old Vienna site has indicated that they will appeal the decision, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”