PLANS to create a micropub in the heart of Romsey have been delayed.

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 a three-bedroom flat could be constructed across the second floor and attic.

Now the plans, which were meant to be decided by TVBC on September 28, have been pushed back.

It is believed the delay is due to the council waiting on comments from consultees.

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

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] due to coronavirus, but if we get everything organised by that time we could be nearing the end of the virus."

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."

Cllr Nik Daas, who represents the Romsey Abbey ward, 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."

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."

The plans were submitted by Anchor Real Estate Ltd.