CELEBRITY chef Rick Stein is hoping to open a new restaurant in Marlborough High Street.

A planning application, as well as listed building consent, has been submitted on behalf of his company to turn Lloran House, which was formerly clothing shops Wardrobe and Timeless Elegance, into a restaurant.

The proposal says the eatery would be set over the first and ground floor, which would also have a bar and booth seating areas. The basement would be used for the kitchen and the second floor as an office and staff changing room.

It hopes to employ around 40 people and serve 102 covers, as well as help boost tourism in the area.

The planning application reads: “The purpose of the application is to facilitate the opening of a new Rick Stein restaurant in Marlborough. This will not only be the family’s first business within the town but also within Wiltshire.

“Having successfully developed several other restaurants and related operations in the South West, originating from Padstow, this family run business is keen to bring their unique brand of food into Marlborough.

“These proposals represent an opportunity to reinstate this historically significant building and create tourist and customer attractions which will draw new customers both to this area of the high street and to the town in general.”

Stein, 68, owns The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow which he opened in 1974 with his wife at the time, Jill Newstead. It has established an international reputation for the the fresh fish and shellfish it serves.

Over the forthcoming years the business has grown into an internationally recognised brand comprising a number of restaurants and also TV shows and cookery books which have made Stein and his family a household name.

Whilst he and Ms Newstead oversee the company, their three sons Ed, Jack and Charlie also have ongoing key roles within the business.

The application adds: “Whilst Marlborough has a thriving retail centre, its considerable tourist potential has arguably yet to be realised.

“As an internationally recognised brand, without any other local restaurants, the proposed occupier will be a new tourist feature within its own right. It will therefore give the area a unique draw for tourists, locals and related businesses that no other local centres have.”

London-based planning consultants Planning Potential Limited has submitted the proposal on behalf of Munro Properties Ltd and Stein Trading limited. Wiltshire Council is expected to make a decision by January 22.

There is also another planning application pending by Munro Properties to turn Lloran House into flats and keep the basement and ground floor to be a single retail unit.