A former restaurant in the heart of an Essex village will be turned into two flats after council bosses approved blueprints. 

The former Restaurant 43 at The Green, Great Bentley, received planning permission to reinstate Rose Cottage and Christmas Cottage, and have internal and external work done. 

In 2014 and 2016, the restaurant gained planning permission to convert the two adjoining cottages for an extension of the business at ground level and guest rooms above, which were implemented. 

The restaurant closed permanently in June 2023 after 13 years of business after failing to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the hospitality industry.

The plans include the introduction of a shop unit, with the first-floor guest rooms being turned into a flat. 

The planning application says: “Given that there is a real prospect of the fall-back scheme coming forward, there is no longer an established commercial or leisure need for guest houses without the restaurant or bar use operating from the site.

"When compared to the fall-back scheme, there is the increase of just one dwelling in this instance or an additional three bed spaces.” 

Christmas Cottage will provide three bedrooms and Rose Cottage will have two bedrooms.