A DEAL-BREAKING planning condition which halted the redevelopment of a landmark building in Leigh has been lifted by Southend Council, leading to hopes work on the project could soon recommence.

The Grand Hotel, in Broadway, secured planning permssion for its transformation into a luxury hotel and restaurant.

This included an outdoor dining terrace, but planners placed a restriction on the application which said the terrace could only be used until 9.30pm.

The condition led the East Anglia Pub Company, which is behind the plans, to say it would not proceed with the refurbishment, unless the condition was dropped.

Now an application to vary the condition to allow the use of the terrace until 11pm has been passed.

It is not yet clear whether the news means the project will now get under way.

However, the lifting of the condition has been welcomed as a positive step for the empty building.

Peter Dolby, a member of Leigh Town Council, said: “At the end of the day, I think it’s the best positive news for the Broadway and that building, if it does come back into play as a hotel with restaurant and bar.

“Leigh really does need a good hotel, but also that building needs to be saved as it is now. The pub group has said it would do that, which is great news.

“It would have been wrong if it had restrictions over and above those of neighbouring bars and restaurants.

“It’s the right decision for Leigh, but I hope that if it is done, it would be run in a way that respects the residential neighbours.”

Mike King, who lives in nearby Marine Parade, Leigh, welcomed the news.

He said: “The Grand Hotel is really a rather nice building.

“When I was a Leigh town councillor I tried very hard to get it listed.

“I guess some of the immediate residents might get a bit on edge about it being extended until 11pm, but there are already so many wine bars and places where people are outside drinking until quite late.”