A PROPOSAL to turn a former ice cream parlour into a mortgage broker is back on the agenda, more than a month after it was dramatically pulled from a decision-making meeting.

Test Valley planners will tonight debate whether Mortgage House, which currently operates out of the town’s Abbey Park Industrial Estate, should take over the building last occupied by Sundae’s Child.

To do this, the brokers must get the listed building’s current licence changed from retail/café to ‘professional services’.

The proposal has been earmarked for approval by officers, and documents reveal that no alterations have been planned for the building itself.

The scheme was meant to be discussed by civic members on January 8, but they were taken off the agenda at the last minute, raising questions as to whether the application had been scrapped.

However, Test Valley officers confirmed that the plans were still “live” .

As reported, two notable objections have been raised, despite the view taken by Test Valley officers.

Local 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,” with Romsey Town Council arguing 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”.

It comes more than a month after the final phase of Romsey’s £3.6m improvements got underway – 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.

The scheme is set to make the area pedestrian-friendly.

A decision will be made at the Southern Area Planning Committee meeting in Crosfield Hall, Romsey. It will start at 5.30pm on February 19.