A 'VIBRANT and successful' Italian restaurant on Weymouth Esplanade has been granted approval for an extension and internal alterations to its Grade II listed building - one of the most significant on the Georgian seafront - despite objections from a planning inspector.

Enzo Ristorante and Pizzeria at 110 Royal Crescent Terrace, The Esplanade, "not only provides the geographical backdrop to the beach, but also the economic foundation on which the town is built", architects acting on behalf of the business said.

But a Dorset Council conservation and design officer said plans for a new extension at the back of the building "compounds the overbearing nature and poor design" of modern extensions previously added to the building "in a piecemeal fashion," as well as impacting upon other nearby properties.

Dorset Echo: The vibrant Italian restaurant also gained an outdoor terrace this year Picture: EnzoThe vibrant Italian restaurant also gained an outdoor terrace this year Picture: Enzo

The changes were approved, however, as well as internal alterations including new toilets on the lower ground floor and changes to the layout on the main restaurant floor and kitchen. The work involves demolishing internal partitions and ceilings inside and a section of outside wall for extension.

Planning permission was granted this week. However when an inspection was carried out back in May, the conservation officer found that the work was "just days away" from completion.

They also discovered that UPVC double-glazed doors had been installed at the back of the kitchen - commenting that this represents "unacceptable" harm to the historic character and appearance of a listed building.

Dorset Echo: The planning inspector was not in favour of yet another extension being added to the back of the building - pictured ahead of the works Picture: Google MapsThe planning inspector was not in favour of yet another extension being added to the back of the building - pictured ahead of the works Picture: Google Maps

The applicant was advised to submit a further application for a replacement wooden door to avoid enforcement action, according to the inspection report.

However architectural consultants W4 Projects said the extension to the back of the building will be cladded in materials sympathetic to the existing exterior, with no windows facing neighbouring properties.

They also said the internal changes will improve the layout of the restaurant, both the dining areas and the kitchen, by moving the kitchen further back, and that the new larger downstairs toilet facilities will benefit customers.

A design and access statement submitted on behalf of the business states: "Enzos is a vibrant successful restaurant. Over the years the premises has evolved but not necessarily in the best way - this proposal will bring the venue up to modern requirements of current customers."

Consultees Weymouth Town Council and Historic England had no objections and there were no objections from neighbours.