Plans to convert a former fast food restaurant in Southend High Street have been given the go ahead.

RMJ Partners has been given planning permission to convert the old KFC restaurant at 86 High Street into four flats and a shop.

The flats would be based on the first and second floors, with two turned into studios and the others into two-bedroom apartment.

The shop would meanwhile be on the ground floor which has been retained for commercial use.

Southend Council had refused similar plans to install five flats in the first and second floors amid concerns it would be too cramped for new residents.

But officers were satisfied the new proposals had addressed their fears.

In their decision notice, they said: “On balance, the current proposal has overcome the reason for refusal of the 2020 application as it would result in acceptable living conditions for its intended future occupiers and it would remain acceptable in all other regards.

“The benefits of the proposal, including the provision of additional but limited housing, which should be given increased weight, would outweigh the minor and limited harm identified.”

In its design and access statement, RMJ says the second floor will be extended and a new pitched roof added to the back of the building.

Waste storage will be provided in a small courtyard area and five cycle racks would be set up inside the building.

The applicant says the proposals are respectful to the area and would not impact on the neighbouring properties on either side.

No parking facilities are included, with the planning documents adding saying the site cannot accommodate vehicles due to its limited size.

The planning details do not state if there is a potential business lined up to move into the proposed commercial ground floor space.