THE former Convivio restaurant in Chester city centre could soon receive a new lease of life.

Plans have been submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council to restore the Grosvenor Street building and convert it into three separate offices.

Applicants Base Architects are seeking a change of use for the 19th century Gothic Grade II*-listed building, which they say is vacant and deteriorated since it closed in 2018, from 'restaurant and entertainment venue' into office space and storage.

Convivio had previously been known as Paparazzi, later Pastarazzi Ristorante.

The applicants say the new three office units would provide the city centre with "the type of affordable office space that Chester city centre is in need of, whilst also providing the building with a new lease of life, as currently it stands empty and there is a concern that if it remains empty this heritage asset will further deteriorate."

The planners added: "The fundamental reasoning behind the application is to change the use of the building to ensure that it can be let out on the open market and its current use class is prohibitive due to the economic pressures on the restaurant industry due to the worldwide pandemic."

Changes made to the building would be almost entirely on the interior, removing existing features such as kitchen walls, bar and service counter, with a different location for the stairs and changes to wall partitions so the three office units could be designed.

Externally, there would be no significant changes made, only repairs to windows and masonry, as well as the removal of plant growth, with all external works carried out sensitively due to the listed building status.

The adjoining car park, which can be accessed via Castle Street, would be resurfaced and six new electric vehicle charging points would be installed.

Comments on the application, reference 22/00150/FUL, can be made on Cheshire West and Chester Council's planning portal.