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Popular coastal restaurant to become holiday lets after 40 years in the same family

PUBLISHED: 06:30 10 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:35 11 May 2020

Constantia Cottage Restaurant in East Runton. Inset, the Constantia Brothers. Pictures: Google StreetView/Archant Library

Constantia Cottage Restaurant in East Runton. Inset, the Constantia Brothers. Pictures: Google StreetView/Archant Library

Archant

A popular north Norfolk coastal restaurant that has been run by the same family for 40 years is to be turned into holiday lets.

Constantia Cottage Restaurant in East Runton. Picture: Google StreetViewConstantia Cottage Restaurant in East Runton. Picture: Google StreetView

North Norfolk District Council’s development committee has given the green light for the conversion of Constantia Cottage Restaurant in East Runton’s High Street.

But it is not yet clear when the project will go ahead, and the Greek restaurant may continue to trade for some time after the lockdown is lifted.

Speaking as the local councillor for Beeston Regis and The Runtons ward, council leader Sarah Bütikofer said: “Constantia Cottage has been a very key part of the local community for long time. People will be very sad to see it go. But the local community does understand that this is a perfectly acceptable use of the this building, and to have some more tourist accommodation in the village will be of great benefit.

“It is very close to the beach so it is a fantastic location for some new holiday accommodation.”

File photo of the Constantia Brothers band from 2009. Picture: Steve AdamsFile photo of the Constantia Brothers band from 2009. Picture: Steve Adams

Councillor Nigel Lloyd, a development committee member, said: “Having used the restaurant a number of times it is sad that it’s going - it’s a great little place. But we move on.”

Originally from Cyprus, Panayis and Stella Yiasimi bought the restaurant in 1980 after moving up from London’s East End.

They have run it with their children ever since, expanding its seating from 35 to around 100. Performances of Greek music by their sons’ band, the Constantia Brothers, have long added to the venue’s flavour.

The plans show there will be three holiday lets on the ground floor and four more on the first floor. There will also be a caretaker’s flat in an outbuilding.

Lamb Kleftico and a Greek salad served up at Constantia Cottage Restaurant in East Runton. Picture: Archant LibraryLamb Kleftico and a Greek salad served up at Constantia Cottage Restaurant in East Runton. Picture: Archant Library

The planning notice gives the owners up to three years to begin development.

The committee discussed the plans at a meeting held by video-conference, which was streamed live and is available to view online.

Emma Denny, the council’s democratic services manager, said of council’s online shift during the lockdown: “We are working hard to ensure that the democratic processes of the council continue during this period to ensure that councillors are able to make important decisions and that the public have an opportunity to engage fully.”

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