A FAST food giant has revealed plans to open its second Essex restaurant in an empty Southend High Street shop.

Famous American hamburger restaurant chain Wendy's is set to transform the former Ponden Home interiors store in Southend High Street, just one door away from rival McDonald's. 

Wendy's is the world's third largest hamburger fast-food chain with thousands of locations around the globe, including 22 in the UK.

If the plans submitted to Southend Council are approved, this will be the chain's second restaurant in Essex, having opened its first in Colchester's new £65 million Northern Gateway complex in July, with the firm's first UK drive-thru.

These plans for the former shop, which include an application for new advertisements and signage, come after other major chains opening their doors in and around Southend High Street in recent years, including Taco Bell and Wagamama.

It also comes amid other empty high street shops also being transformed with new projects unveiled in recent months, including the former Warren James and Miss Selfridge units.

Businessman Arras Ali, who owns eight barbershops across Southend, is converting the Miss Selfridge building into a "slice of Oxford Street", while first-time franchisees Sharon Riju and Riju Varghese are opening a Plan Burrito restaurant at the former jewellers.

Mr Ali has invested £1million into his project, transforming the former shop into nine apartments with three shops on the ground floor, which he hopes to see picked up by designer brands, such as Zara, to make Southend High Street a “trendy and desirable place to visit”.

Southend Council will have the final say on the Wendy's plans.