PLANS have been submitted to expand a Michelin-starred Winchester restaurant and revamp its kitchen.

The Black Rat, in Chesil Street, is seeking permission to build an extension to the rear of the restaurant, along Wharf Hill.

If approved, this would house the new kitchen and two dining areas.

The plans have already received a letter of support, which was written by former Winchester city councillor Ian Tait.

Mr Tait said that following an extension to The Black Hole B&B, another establishment in Winchester entrepreneur David Nicholson’s group, he felt the design of this scheme “is actually the right solution for this building so I am fully supportive”.

The proposal came just days after The Black Rat was included in a list of top UK restaurants.

OpenTable, the online restaurant booking service, placed it tenth in the ‘Fit for Foodies’ review category.

In February, it was also named as one of the country’s most romantic restaurants, while last summer is ranked second in the annual ‘Fit for Foodies’ list.

Speaking at the time, landlord David Nicholson said: “I think it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s done by the customers and they have got to be the most important judges. If the people like it, we must be doing something right.”

The restaurant was opened by David Nicholson who made his name by taking on The Black Boy pub in 1995.

A decision on the planning application is due by July 9.