The future of a restaurant which employed a chef and waiter illegally is hanging in the balance after an application to transfer its license was refused for the second time.

Essex Police raided the Yak and Yeti a Nepalese, Indian and Tibetan restaurant, near the Elms in London Road in January where the employees were found to be working illegally.

The restaurant’s license was revoked on June 12 following the immigration raid and an application was made to transfer the licence to Masala Kitchen UK Ltd.

However Southend Council’s licensing committee refused the application after hearing objections from Essex Police that the new license holder played a major role in the running of the business during the raid.

An appeal was lodged but councillors threw the application out once more this week.

Essex Police objected to the transfer on the grounds the new owner, Mr Singh, was a director at the restaurant at the time of the raid and played a significant role in running the business.

Keeley Drain from Essex Police revealed the restaurant had been raided by police in 2013 when illegal workers were also discovered. In this year’s raid one of the workers told officers he had been paid in cash by Mr Singh.

The officer told councillors Mr Singh had been the sole director of the company running the restaurant at the time of the immigration raid.

The applicant did not appear at the latest hearing but submitted a letter in support of the application which said the concerns had been addressed and there would be no undermining of licensing objectives.

Mr Singh said his previous post as director had been in name only and he not been responsible for the business run by his late brother.

He had taken over the business as head of the family following the death of his brother.

He told the committee he has assumed responsibility for the business and has now received the appropriate training.

However Ms Drain said: “These applications are not a change of business operational management and we believe he will continue to operate the restaurant in the same way as he has for years  - one that ignores the Immigration Act and undermines the prevention of crime and disorder objectives.”