THE future of a historic Hampshire pub which was thought to be saved has now been thrown back into doubt.

Residents and traders were celebrating after they heard that the Bitterne Park Hotel had been saved after another Southampton landlord stepped in to save the pub.

But now the future of the pub is once again hanging in the balance as landlord of the Obelisk pub in Woolston Kevin Guerrier, who took up the reins last week, has now pulled out of owning the Bitterne Park Hotel.

Minimal delay He said: “Having re-visited our business plan, strategy, feasibility study and levels of funding, we have unfortunately and regretfully decided not to proceed with our project to re-open the Bitterne Park Hotel for trading next week.

“We will instead continue to develop the business at the Obelisk Hotel in Woolston, including restarting the kitchen and continuing to support the local community.”

However Kevin believes his short time plans will help any future landlord in the long run.

He added: “We have been able to help organise and arrange much of the working infrastructure needed to allow the future licensee of the Bitterne Park Hotel to re-open with minimal delay.

“We believe that the successful applicant will be rewarded with a highly successful business opportunity.”

The pub was set to open on February 11, but now Enterprise Inns are seeking to find a new landlord, once again.

CAMRA spokesman for Hampshire Dave Howes, said: “From our point of view it is really disappointing, especially given the support the pub has had.”

Also saddened by the news is Councillor for Bitterne Park ward, Ivan White, who said: “It is a shame that we are quickly losing all our local pubs in the ward as well as the city, they are part of the fabric of the community.

Interest “I hope somebody will be found to run it again.”

A statement from Enterprise Inns, said: “We are sorry that Kevin won’t be taking on the Bitterne Park Hotel, but we appreciate his reasoning and we would like to thank him for his time and efforts with the site over the past week.

“We did receive a lot of interest in the site when we previously advertised the lease and we are in the process of contacting those parties.”

The statement added that they are still looking for a publican to take over the pub.

Call Enterprise Inns on 0900 953 0072 for more details.