THE FUTURE of a 'decaying' former hotel based at the heart of Abingdon remains unclear after a developer pulled out of ongoing discussions, Vale of White Horse District Council revealed.

After more than four years of standing as an ‘eyesore’ on the banks of the Thames there was hope that the run down Upper Reaches hotel could soon open to guests once again.

Since the current leaseholder Contemporary Hotels Ltd closed the building in 2015 after a 'prolonged period of losses', controversy about its future surrounded the hotel until last year when the council received a proposal from a new developer to take on the existing lease and a new lease.

However, the local authority said yesterday discussions have not progressed due to 'viability reasons'.

A spokesperson for Vale of White Horse District Council revealed: "The current tenant, who has the long ground lease for the site, is reconsidering their future plans for the site.

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"The council is encouraging them to bring forward these plans as soon as possible."

A public post on Facebook shared on Monday by Tim Bowen showed photographs of 'decaying' Upper Reaches hotel.

It gathered a lot of attention from people in Abingdon concerned over new developments in the 'disgraceful saga'.

Hopeful residents rekindled their fond memories of the hotel and pointed the finger at the district council for abandoning the building 'to rot' and 'wasting a once beautiful and thriving area'.

One local Jen Murdock shared she had her wedding reception there 41 years ago, while another Facebook user Kev Brock pointed out his grandmother used to work there 'many years ago' and added 'she would have been very upset to see it like this'.

Another Abingdon resident Mel Barlow wrote: "It is a shame that it has just been left.

"It could be a lovely cafe, a bed and breakfast or restaurant, and it would be great to see it rise again."

Many responded to the sad photographs that 'look like scenes from a post apocalyptic film' that any renovation to the building 'would bring some life to the town'.

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Concerned local Alison Hurst said: "How can it be said a hotel is not viable as they have just built that new one by Tesco.

"It just needs someone in charge who cares and wanted to make something of it.

"My dad had a wonderful wedding reception there and a boat trip from there after with afternoon tea, I think it was the year before it closed.

"It was not until then that I even knew that the restaurant was open to the public and not just residents to the hotel and I have lived here all my life."

In March last year, while talks over Upper Reaches were taking place, Vale district council, which holds the freehold for the site. released a statement that said: "The Upper Reaches site is currently leased on a long ground lease.

"We are aware of public concern about its future following its closure in 2015.

"To this end council officers have worked to encourage the tenant to bring the site back into operation."