A NEW restaurant is set to be opened in Wickford’s The Willows Shopping Centre, if fresh plans are agreed by councillors.

Neil Eldem is behind the proposals for the change of use from waffle shop to hot food cafe and restaurant at Wafflelicious .

The application is to allow it to open from 7am to 6pm every day, including bank holidays and Sundays. There would be capacity for 16 tables, plus a kitchen and serving space on the ground floor of the building.

David Harrison, leader of the WIckford Independents Group, welcomed the proposed new addition to the high street.

He said: “It’s always good to see new businesses offering something new and change in the town centre. I know the waffle shop had been up for sale so it’s good to see someone is set to take it over.

“This is much better than it being empty, and we know that to keep businesses and people in our high streets we need businesses that people will use.

“It’s a good and beneficial move for the town and for the the site in question. It will also help with the economy for that time of the day as well.”

Mr Harrison said he believes the restaurant will work well in the shopping centre and he wishes them and any other new business all the best of luck for their new venture.

He added: “I also would like to see a wine bar or something similar come to the town and high street, if one was available and a site was too.

“But a restaurant will be more competition which is good for other businesses and I think people will go where they can get quality.”

The shopping centre already has a range of top brands and shops including New Look, Superdrug and Boots.

Basildon Council is due to decide on the plans by March 7.

Are you a Wickford resident or frequent visitor?

Tell us what kind of businesses you think would do well in the town by emailing basildon.echonews@ newsquest.co.uk

We're offering a free one month trial to the Echo website this month. For all the latest south Essex news, coverage from court and fascinating features subscribe today. To find out more click here.