PLANS to transform a former bank into a restaurant in the heart of Romsey could be given the green.

A planning application has been submitted to Test Valley Borough Council to revamp the closed Santander branch at 14 Market Place.

If approved, the new restaurant could be open from 8am to 11pm seven days a week.

The application has been submitted by Brightbeech Developments Limited and the building currently has a Savills "to let" sign outside of it.

Head of licensed leisure at Savills, Kevin Marsh, said: "We are dealing with the property on behalf of the owner, Brightbeech, as Santander do not own it anymore.

"We have had a lot of interest from restaurants, cafes and coffee shops and, while we have not agreed a deal with anyone, we need the planning application to change the use of the building.

"We do not know what it will be at the moment, because we have to decide who the successful person will be."

He added: "It is really encouraging to have so much interest in the property and that has probably come as a result of rail improvements and the Market Place.

"Whoever is successful will do very well there, as it faces the right direction of the sun and you can imagine sitting out there in the summer."

Cllr Nik Daas, who represents Romsey Abbey on the borough council, said: "It is obvious that our high-streets are changing and we are moving towards having more restaurants and Romsey has to keep up with the times.

"I am pleased to see restaurants are flocking to the town, as we have had other cafes and restaurants joining the town lately.

"It is brilliant and I am all in favour of of it, because no one wants to see empty shops and if we can get them in as soon as possible then we can offer new things to people here."

He added: "It will be interesting to see what is going in that space because it is not massive."

A spokesperson from Brightbeech Developments Limited said: "There are increasing vacancies in retail units in town centres and they have to adopt a more flexible approach to make them more attractive places to visit.

"To provide an additional restaurant within the heart of the town centre will serve to attract more visitors to Romsey both during the day and in the evening period."

The application is due to be decided on by Tuesday, March 10.