A POPULAR Italian restaurant is set to open a second branch.

Pizzeria Donatello's has been a fixture on Orford Lane for more than 20 years.

Now it planning to expand by opening a new eaterie in Fearnhead.

An application for planning permission has been submitted to Warrington Borough Council in order to convert the former Ladbrokes bookmakers at Fearnhead Cross into a Donatello Express.

The currently vacant 91.2sq m unit will boast a wood fired pizza oven and will largely cater for takeaways, although drawings do include some customer seating.

Five new jobs will be created as a result, with proposed opening hours of 5pm to 11pm between Mondays and Fridays and 12pm to 11.30pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.

Application documents stated: "Donatello's has provided for the Orford and Warrington community for many years as a popular restaurant serving high quality pizza, pasta and antipasti restaurant meals.

Warrington Guardian:

"With the impact of the ongoing Covid pandemic, the family business is looking at ways to ensure it can thrive as a Warrington-based business, meet the changing dining needs of their customer base and to address what is likely to be an important growth in their business revenue from takeaway and home deliveries.

"Hence, the Donatello company has identified an ideal opportunity to create a high quality pizzeria takeaway food service from the vacant Labrokes betting shop premises within the Fearnhead Cross."

Donatello's set up a delivery service for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic, and it is anticipated that the new branch will help to continue this line of business when the restaurant is able to open as normal.