PROPOSALS have been submitted to turn a former Winchester independent store into a restaurant.

The proposal relates to 11 The Square, which is currently vacated, but had been the home of store Creative Crafts, for more than 30 years.

As previously reported, the independent store closed down in April, citing rising rent and rates as the reason.

Owner Lyn Symonds, who took over in 2002, said at the time: “This has been on the cards since last summer, it’s not something that has happened just like that. I have tried everything.

“My rates have gone up 50 per cent and my rent is very high, with the pressure of people turning to the internet to shop creative crafts in its current form will no longer exist. I know of at least three other independents which are likely to close by the end of the year.”

The brand is still going, however, in the form of a Winchester Market stall.

The new proposal is seeking permission to use the site as a restaurant. Detailed plans about how it would be used would be revealed at a later date, depending on the outcome of this planning application.

An objection has already been lodged against the proposal by Badger Farm resident Jane Nicholson, who said: “Please do not grant planning permission for yet another cafe or restaurant at this address.”

A decision on the plan for the listed building is due in the new year.