A CONTROVERSIAL restaurant has been given the green light to extend its opening hours.

Cattle Steakhouse, which recently opened in the former Notes cafe site on Hanover Buildings, will be able to continue serving customers until 1am, a three hour increase to its current opening hours.

It was granted permission by Southampton City Council and will open between 12pm and 1am every day.

The plan to open the Woking-based steakhouse courted controversy initially, with fears it would beak up the city's 'lentil belt'.

In the proximity of the restaurant, there are a number of joints where vegetables are the main item on the menu.

At the time Ellie Ataie, who recently put on the city’s first large-scale vegan festival, said she wasn't keen on the new venture.

The 23-year-old mum-of-one from Freemantle added: “I would definitely prefer if it was a vegan or alternative restaurant.

“I’d prefer anything to do with health or wellbeing, where you are not harming animals – that would be better in my view.

“You can get vegan fish and chips made out of seaweed and there’s a vegan chicken shop in London."

But Sarah Taylor, who opened the nearby Cafe Thrive last, said a steak restaurant could mean some healthy competition.

She said: “We call it the lentil belt down here and since we opened we’ve surpassed expectations.

“It’s a good thing that any empty unit is being used and we get extra footfall.

“There might even be some crossover and, who knows, we might convert a few people."