Developers could be invited to turn an empty dessert parlour in Northampton town centre into practically anything they like.
The former Cookies and Cream unit in the Drapery has had a chequered history of short-term businesses moving in and leaving again in recent years.
But planning permission has been submitted to 'free up' the vacant shop in a bid to attract developers and create a new business on the site.
The 'flexible' application would allow a new occupier to open up any range of business they like - from a cocktail bar, to a cafe, to a sandwich shop to a takeaway.
The application, which was put to the borough council this week, reads: "...the intended occupier would have the flexibility to operate one of many alternative and attractive business operations.
"This could be a small independent restaurant, or a modest deli style café serving hot and cold sandwiches and salads. There could be a shop floor fridge where customers can select from a wide range of pre-prepared salads and sandwiches.
"There would be an indoor seating area where customers are able to enjoy their food on site with views looking out into the conservation area/All Saints Church."
The 114 square-metre shop, which in the past has used its basement as additional seating, has reportedly experienced break-ins and anti-social activities in recent months.
The plans read: "The property is not realising its full value both in commercial and planning terms given its advantageous town centre and conservation area location.
The proposed flexible [will increase] the likelihood for more permanent and long term commercial activity."