A FORMER Romsey hotel could have been snapped up Premier Inn while it was on the market for a new owner, it has been revealed.

A document from estate agent, Savills, unveiled the budget hotel chain could have revamped the Abbey Hotel, Church Street, into a 60 bed hotel after receiving an enquiry from the company.

Now a community leader has expressed her joy after discovering Premier Inn could have helped the market town's tourism industry.

Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "I am delighted to know there is other interest from other companies in bringing something else into Romsey.

"This is what the whole thing has been about really - wanting to have the Abbey Hotel developed into a hotel.

"If any company could move onto the brewery site it would be an absolute miracle because I have been living in Romsey for 33 years and the site is an absolute tip."

READ: Plans to turn Abbey Hotel into flats come under fire from town council >>> 

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Dorothy Baverstock Cllr Dorothy Baverstock

She added: "I just feel we need a variety of places because we have got a lovely hotel in the White Horse in the Market Place and it would be really good to have something else people can afford.

"To have more accommodation in Romsey, which would boost our tourism, would be excellent."

Head of licensed leisure at Savills, Kevin Marsh, said: "Premier Inn wanted to be in Romsey, but the Abbey Hotel didn't suit them because they needed a bigger site as they have got to be able to build something like 60 beds.

"Interestingly, at the time, they had a requirement for representation in and around Romsey on the basis that they saw a demand for a purpose built hotel.

"What would have suited them is a site within walking distance of the town centre, if you could imagine anywhere from the Broadlands, past the Romsey sports centre or the brewery site, which would have been a potential place for them."

READ: Hotel could be turned into flats and a showroom for Kutchenhaus >>> 

As previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, plans to turn the Abbey Hotel into flats and a kitchen showroom came under fire from Romsey Town Council over fears the homes would not help reel in tourists.

The plans, submitted by property investor Brightbeech Property Limited, would see the ground floor of the property occupied by the kitchen company, Kutchenhaus, while a two-bedroom house would be built at the back of the site.

Director of Brightbeech Property Limited, Tim Lincoln, told the Advertiser the Abbey Hotel was "unfortunately allowed to fall into disrepair by its previous owners".

He added: "Once the works are completed Kutchenhaus will relocate to the property which will provide room for their successful business to expand further."

TVBC are due to decide on the plans on Thursday, June 11.

Premier Inn has been contacted for comment.