A RESTAURANT in Rhayader could be given a new lease of life as holiday apartments.

The Bear Hotel, in East Street, could be converted into a one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments if a planning application is accepted by Powys County Council.

The building has been the local Indian restaurant The Mirchi since 2015 however the current tenant has decided to relocate their business to another premises in Rhayader.

A planning statement by applicant Gwilym Powell said: “This is why we are proposing change of use as two Indian restaurants will not survive and there are plenty of eateries within the town.

“Due to the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, we feel that we will struggle to let the restaurant out again and this is why we feel we need to diversify to holiday apartments which will complement our bed & breakfast business and keep everything in house.”

Up to three jobs – one full-time and two part-time – could be created if the proposals are given the go ahead.

Mr Powell said: “We are still keeping as business use so still supporting the local economy and tourism in the town and will be employing two members of staff.”

The proposal for two holiday apartments in the town centre will “compliment” the restaurant owner’s existing bed and breakfast business which is adjacent to the site.

The current restaurant area would be the two-bedroom apartment, and the kitchen would be converted into a one-bedroom apartment.

Mr Powell added: “As holiday apartments there will be less noise and disturbance and less parking on the street but still encouraging tourism to the town.

“Access to the two-bed holiday apartment is directly off the street at front of the building and access to the one-bed holiday apartment is to the rear of the building with access up the side of the building.

“Very little alterations to the outside of the building ie replacement of two doors to windows and replacement of three single-glazed windows to double glazed UPVC on side of building.”

A decision on the application is expected in September.