PLANS have been revealed to turn Malvern's old NatWest building into a 'stunning restaurant and bar'.

Malvern businessman Mike Clarke wants to convert the former Nat West, on the corner of Church Street and Grange Road, into a restaurant and bar, and has now submitted a planning application to Malvern Hills District Council.

Mr Clarke will name the establishment The Water Cure in homage to Malvern's history, and in the application says: "Our proposal is to convert the ground floor of the building into a stunning restaurant and bar, doing justice to its external appearance.

"We aim to create a type of venue which is currently unavailable in Malvern; one which will serve the interests of both residents and visitors.

"The emphasis will be on providing good quality, healthy food and drinks, with exceptional customer service."

The building will also contain function rooms, which Mr Clarke envisages being used for classes such as pilates or yoga, small private parties and wedding receptions.

It will also have two small rooms on the ground floor available for private hire for dining or meetings.

The existing car parking behind the building off Grange Road will become a "biodiversity garden", he added.

"This will dramatically enhance the appearance of the rear of the building and provide additional space during the summer," the application says.

Mr Clarke stressed that "the Water Cure will not become a late-night drinking venue", with last admissions at 11.30pm, and 10.30pm closing on Sundays.

This week, Mr Clarke said: "We're working towards it having something of a 'wow' factor. It's not going to be just another restaurant. The overall idea is for something quite unique and different in Malvern."

Clive Hooper, of Malvern Civic Society, backed the proposal.

He said: "We would certainly welcome plans for bringing this important building back into use, and I'm sure our planning subcommittee will be looking at these plans with great interest."

The Malvern Gazette previously reported that Malvern Town Council was initially interested in buying the former bank, but dropped its plan after a surveyor's report showed the extent of refurbishment needed.

Mr Clarke subsequently bought the building for an undisclosed sum last year.