Plans to repair and restore a town centre building ravaged by fire have been unveiled.

Frank Ladkin wants permission from Braintree Council to begin work on fixing up Whispers Wine Bar in Halstead High Street.

The first floor and roof of the grade two listed building were devastated by a huge blaze back in February, while the ground floor was left with considerable water damage.

Scaffolding was put up around the wine bar earlier this year to allow inspectors and surveyors to gain access to all floors so they could assess the scale of the damage.

With reports and assessments now complete, planning permission is needed before work can begin repairing the building.

Architect David Lambert, who has helped put together the application, hopes repairs will not prove too challenging despite the scale of the damage.

He said: “Structurally it shouldn’t be too difficult. A lot of the timber frame is made of old oak which is dense and quite resistant to fire.

“Quite a bit of it is charred but we can still work with that.

“It’s the modern extension to the rear which needs the most work to it. We are hoping to make some alterations to that so we can improve it.

“We are also going to take the chance to install some insulation without destroying the historic nature of the building.

“Effectively we are looking to repair the building, clean and restore it. It will pretty much mean it is put back together again.

“It’s a slow process because its a grade two listed building but if we can get consent then the client will want to press ahead and get it sorted as soon as possible.”

The fire, which occurred on Friday, February 23 was understood to have been started by accident in the first-floor kitchen.

Halstead High Street was shut off to the public while dozens of firefighters worked for several hours tackling the blaze.

It is unclear whether Whispers Wine Bar will reopen.

The Gazette was unable to contact the owners for comment.