CHIP shop entrepreneur Paul van Looy’s plans to open a Fifties-style American diner in Southend have been given the go-ahead by Southend Council.

Mr van Looy, who has long run a string of successful fish and chip shops in the town, has been given planning permission to open a diner in the former Majestic Wines shop, in Southchurch Road.

Mr van Looy, who is an Independent borough councillor, representing St Luke’s ward, plans to invest £150,000 into fitting out the shop with a jukebox, booths and other items specially imported from the United States.

David Garston, Conservative councillor for Southchurch, said: “As the councillor for this part of Southchurch Road, I very much welcome this application. Southchurch Road has been a worry over a number of years. It had quite a depressing time a few years ago, but investment has flowed back in.

“It has gone the way of Hamlet Court Road and it’s getting some good restaurants.”

Mr van Looy, who took no part in the discussions or the vote, since he had an interest in it, hopes to have the diner open by July.