PLANS have been submitted to turn a former “thriving” restaurant into two homes.

The plans have been lodged to Test Valley Borough Council by Mark Moores, director of Tydesdale Group Ltd to turn the former Blue Hayes restaurant in Salisbury Road, Shootash, into two three bedroom properties. Parking space for four cars is also detailed in the plans.

In the planning statement it states that operations at the restaurant ceased two years ago due to “financial instability.”

A viability report produced by Kevin Marsh from Savills concluded that “the operation of the restaurant is commercially unviable at both the present time, and in the long-term.”

The report described the restaurant as “thriving “ in 1990s but said it faced competition in the mid 2000s stating there was a “marked increase” of “good quality food in public houses” in the local area.

Mr Marsh added: “I understand that prior to closure the tenant had been trying to assign the lease without success.

Mark Moores said: “Essentially we are looking to redevelop into much needed housing what was once a popular restaurant but has sadly in recent years proven impossible to operate as a viable business with a succession of operators running at a loss.

“This is due to a combination of factors including its limited size and the fact it can only be reached by car. “Not only this, but the whole food industry is struggling so it makes such sense to change the usage of the building into one where there is big demand.

“Developing buildings such as this, helps meet the local housing need and prevents the requirement to build on undeveloped land such as the Greenbelt.”

“The rent was then reduced to help their cashflow however, in the end, the business failed.”

Councillor Nick Adams-King said: “It’s always sad to see a local business close but given its location I can see why.

“Losing business in the countryside is something that should be avoided but turning it into homes then that is better than nothing.”