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From the Echo: Pizza Express is set to open in Billericay creating 30 new jobs.

The chain has submitted plans to open a new branch in the former Strada restaurant, in the High Street.

It hopes to refurbish the ground and first floors of the grade II listed building and has applied to Basildon Council for listed building consent.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Spokesperson for Pizza Express"]Billericay is a fantastic town and we’d hope to open in the autumn, creating 30 new jobs.[/quote]

Strada closed in mid- June this year at a time when three other town centres stores shut around the same time, causing businessman Trevor Draper to claim the town was “just about surviving.”

Billericay town councillor Ian Davie, chairman of the planning committee, welcomed the plans, particularly as the building is a historic one.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Billericay town councillor Ian Davie"]Certainly it is always rather sad to see empty premises on the High Street because it doesn’t do anything for the image, so we are always pleased whatever sort of business comes back into use. Billericay has a fairly bustling atmosphere and of course one the good things about Billericay High Street is there is a fairly reasonable night life. Because of the number of restaurant and bars they tend to feed off each other. It is far better to see an occupied premises than an empty one.[/quote]

The application is expected to be decided at the beginning of September.

Read the original article by the Echo.


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