AN Italian wine cafe could open up in the former home of the Officers Club in Golden Square shopping centre.

A planning application has been submitted to alter the change of use of the vacant site from retail to flexible use for retail and a drinking establishment.

If permission is granted, Veeno is looking to make its way to the town centre but the company confirmed it is yet to finalise a deal.

In a health impact assessment sent to the authority application agent JLL said the hoardings currently covering the premises 'detract from the vibrancy of the area'.

It added: "The planning application seeks permission for the principle of the change of use only – a separate, detailed application will follow in due course should any proposed material alterations to the unit be required.

"There are a variety of uses across the units within the Golden Square shopping centre. Of these units, approximately 10 to 15 per cent sell food or drink as part of, or all of, their retail offer.

"The proposed change of use will therefore complement the existing offer and will provide a higher quality operator to the town centre, which in turn will have a positive impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre.

"Veeno offers a modest but high quality selection of food centred round the Italian aperitivo culture – the offer will be limited to cold meats, cheeses, breads, salads, paninis and desserts.

"This will improve the food offer for the town centre and move away from the typical 'grab-and-go' operators.

"The proposed change of use will enable the unit to be brought back into an active use which will bring with it employment opportunities.

"A more active and vibrant use in this location will also help attract more visitors to the area, which will benefit surrounding businesses and generally make the surrounding area more attractive.

"The proposal looks to build on the success of the recent improvements to other units within the town centre, include the nearby Prezzo unit, which has made a noticeable improvement to the Old Fish Market area."

JLL said the proposed wine cafe will provide a 'relaxed and civilised' environment for visitors, while making a 'positive' contribution to the council's health and wellbeing objectives.

Although employment opportunities have been highlighted, Veeno is currently unable to confirm how many jobs could be created or when it plans to open in the shopping centre, if plans are passed.