A “very high-end restaurant” will be part of £125million plans for a prominent seafront site, developers have revealed as they prepare to clear the site.

Demolition of the derelict Esplanade pub is expected to start next week. Developers behind plans for the fire-wrecked pub site aim to begin removing what is left of the eyesore in Western Esplanade, Southend, on Tuesday.

Beyond the Box Developments is set to create 51 flats and two restaurants after knocking down the pub and neighbouring Marriott’s Fish and Chip Shop.

The plan was given planning approval last August, but last-minute details had to be ironed out. Conditions included an ecology appraisal, a badger survey, and tree protection measures,

Beyond the Box managing director James Struth said: “All the planning conditions have been agreed and we are ready to get started. We hope to start next Tuesday with redesigning the hoarding and starting the demolition of the derelict building. It will all start very quickly after the bank holiday.

“Work is expected to take more than 22 months and will include a very high-end restaurant and a café.” Although he would not now reveal who was behind the plush restaurant plan.

The former pub had become a target for vandals, with firefighters continually called to extinguish fires set by arsonists. The last blaze completely destroyed the building, leaving it in a dangerous condition.

Tony Cox, leader of Southend Council, said : “Its great news for the start of the summer season and it will certainly add to the overall ambience of the seafront and be welcomed by all. It’s been a long time coming but better late than never.”