PLANS to create a micropub in the heart of Romsey could be given the green light by planning chiefs.

A planning application was submitted to Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) to revamp the empty 8 Market Place into a new pub.

If approved, the ground floor of the grade II listed building would be transformed into the watering hole, while the second floor and attic would be changed for residential use.

Now, community leaders have revealed their enthusiasm for the plans, claiming the new business could help the market town continue to thrive.

READ: The best pubs to visit in Romsey and Test Valley >>> 

Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "Anything that brings business into the Market Place is wonderful, because we have got quite a few empty units and it would be really good to have a new business there.

"I think it will be a challenge, particularly where it is, because I believe there are flats above those buildings [in the Market Place], so I don't know how the residents will feel about it.

"There could be problems [with the plans], because of coronavirus, but if we get everything organised by that time we could be nearing the end of coronavirus."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Dorothy Baverstock Cllr Dorothy Baverstock

She added: "Having a micropub there could be a really good offset for the Abbey Hotel closing and hopefully it will become a thriving business."

READ: Housing plan in Romsey 'a nail in the coffin', says councillor >>> 

Cllr Nik Daas, who represents Romsey Abbey on the borough council, said: "That is very good news for Romsey if that empty building can be filled.

"If we can get something new and exciting in there I am glad to hear it."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Nik DaasCllr Nik Daas

When asked if the coronavirus crisis could impact the business, Cllr Daas said: "As with all shops, pubs and restaurants there are social distancing rules and we are [having to adapt] to a new normal, so I am sure they will be able to work it out."

READ: Plans for dog day care centre near Romsey are approved >>> 

It is not yet known who has submitted the application.