PLANS to turn a former ice cream parlour into a mortgage broker could be decided next month, despite the proposals being pulled from a meeting two weeks ago.

Mortgage House, which currently operates out of the town’s Abbey Park Industrial Estate, had applied to fill the vacant store in Market Place.

Councillors were then meant to debate the plans on January 8, but they were taken off the agenda at the last minute, raising questions about whether the application had been scrapped.

But Test Valley Borough Council has confirmed that the application is still ‘live’ and could make its way back in front of planning committee members on February 19.

It does not need to be resubmitted, a spokesman added.

The authority understands that the applicants needed more time to develop the plans, which proposes to change the listed building’s current licence from retail/café to ‘professional services’.

No alterations are planned for the building itself.

As reported, two notable objections were raised, despite Test Valley planning officers earmarking the plans for approval.

Councillor Clive Collier, who represents Romsey (Abbey) ward, said: “We are trying to attract retail into the town and I do not consider that Mortgage [House] will be beneficial.”

Members for Romsey Town Council argued that it goes against Test Valley’s Local Plan.

Nevertheless, planning officers say that “the proposed development complies with relevant policy” and is “considered acceptable”.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service attempted to contact Mortgage House, but were unable to get a response.

It comes just weeks after the final phase of Romsey’s £3.6m improvements got under way – which the former parlour’s owners cited as a reason for closing, as the works would hit business.

This work will transform the centre of the market town by replacing the long-standing roundabout in the Market Place with a large piazza-style area, built around the famous Lord Palmerston statue.