PLANS have been unveiled to turn a former wine shop in Colchester into a new home.

Anthony Borges alongside wife Janet owned and operated The Wine Centre in Great Horkesley for nearly 25 years.

The couple, who live in the Grade II listed site’s adjoining Georgian country home, decided to retire and close the business last year and it was put up for sale for £1.5 million.

Now a Listed Building application has gone into Colchester Council from Mr Borges outlining the change of use for the site.

The plans say the Wine Centre site would change from a class E retail site to a residential home.

The Wine Centre is a Grade II listed building and adjoins another Grade II listed building, Gardenhurst.

Gazette: Closed - The Wine Centre in Great HorkesleyClosed - The Wine Centre in Great Horkesley (Image: Google)

Documents describe The Wine Centre as an “important building in the history of Great Horkesley”, adding how the proposal “will not alter the historic elements of the shop front”.

They also note how the current owner, from its purchase, has understood the "importance of this building”.

On the plans, the documents say: “There are internal alterations planned to rearrange the space to accommodate a suitable living area.

“Historic elements such as wine storage cabinets will be retained and incorporated into the kitchen and dining room.”

They also say the proposal will “ensure the preservation of the listed asset by ensuring regular maintenance to uphold its condition” and that there will be “no impact on the buildings surrounding the site”.

Mr and Mrs Borges announced their business’ impending closure last year due to struggling trade, alongside their retirement later that summer when the doors were finally shut.

Gazette: Owners - Anthony and Janet Borges, of The Wine CentreOwners - Anthony and Janet Borges, of The Wine Centre (Image: Newsquest)

“As a small independent retailer we are simply not able to compete with the bigger merchants and the supermarkets,” the said in a statement previously.

The business was later put up for sale, listed on Rightmove for £1.5 million.

The couple had previously attempted to sell the business and house in 2020 for the same price.

The listing was for the entire estate, including both the wine shop and the adjoining Georgian house, as well as the land surrounding.

Rightmove described The Wine Centre as a “profitable business” which had “great potential for growth, especially internet sales and trade sales”.

Colchester Council will rule on the plans.