A FORMER popular Romsey hotel has been sold to a new owner after being closed for five years, it has been revealed.

The Abbey Hotel, Church Street, was sold to property investor, The Brightbeech Group, after being on the market since July 2019.

Now the new owners are planning to inject new life into the "neglected" Abbey Hotel, according to a property agent.

Head of licensed leisure at Savills, Kevin Marsh confirmed on Friday, 9 January the property had been sold.

He said: "The asking price for the Abbey Hotel was £1.6 million and it was sold to The Brightbeech Group, who are a Romsey based property developer and investor.

"There was a lot of interest in the property, as it is a large and prominent site and there are not many opportunities like this to develop in the town centre.

"It has been neglected for a long period of time when it was connected to the previous owners of the White Horse Hotel, but now is an opportunity to see it brought back to life."

Mr Marsh added: "There are no formal plans yet for the Abbey Hotel, as it will all depend on what the planning authority have to say about what can be done with the property.

"There are lots of different things that can be done with it and the hair salon, as well as the photo shop, will be part of the development as they are down there."

Savills could not confirm how much the former hotel was sold for.

This comes after the property agent told the Advertiser there were "historic issues" that needed "ironing out" while the former hotel was under offer.

Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "It is brilliant, I was talking to another councillor recently about the Abbey Hotel because it is in a prime location in the town centre and it was looking sad.

"It is right in the middle of our tourism area and what we do desperately need are some reasonably sized places for people to stay in when they visit Romsey.

"They have got bedrooms there and if they open it up as a pub as well that would be absolutely amazing."

As previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, Romsey town centre manager, Mark Edgerley, said: "We look forward to seeing the plans the new owner has for the property.”

The pub was set to reopen in 2015 under the management of Paul and Sarah Bingham who managed The White Horse in the Market Place.

However, despite Mr Bingham previously claiming they had a “refurbishment scheme in excess of £500,000” and that they were intending to “trade it as part of the White Horse Hotel and rebrand it as the Abbey Inn” the hotel never re-opened.

The Brightbeech Group, based in Latimer Walk, has been contacted for comment.