AFTER almost four years standing as an ‘eyesore’ on the banks of the Thames a derelict hotel in Abingdon could soon open to guests once again.

The Upper Reaches, which since its closure has attracted antisocial behaviour and vandalism, has a chance at a new lease of life with a developer revealed to be interested in taking it on.

Safety concerns raised after 'dangerous' former hotel becomes hotspot for yobs

District councillor Alice Badcock, who also sits on the town’s council, tweeted a picture of herself with her father and town council leader Mike Badcock outside the boarded-up building on Friday.

She wrote: “Great news regarding the Upper Reaches #Abingdon The Council have received a proposal from a new hotel developer to take an assignment of the existing lease and a new lease.”

The news was met with enthusiasm by residents, Deborah Horne responding: "Surprised they want it as a hotel. However it's about time something was done it looks eyesore."

Patrick Bird added: "That is great news fingers crossed it all works out."

In 2015, the current leaseholder Contemporary Hotels Ltd closed the hotel citing a ‘prolonged period of losses’.

ALSO READ: More details about another new hotel in Abingdon

Last year, company director Ambar Paul, whose family also owns Caparo Hotels, revealed he hoped to build a mixed-use scheme of housing and hotel space at the riverside location.

Vale of White Horse District Council, which holds the freehold for the site, has stated in the past that Contemporary Hotels’ long-term lease only allows the site to house up to six flats.

Speaking at the time, Mr Paul restated his commitment to the plan and said: “My goal remains unchanged, I want a mixed-use site with a boutique hotel and around 10 houses.

Herald Series:

“There have been delays getting the council to relax their rules however and the car park is looking increasingly derelict.”

The Oxford Mail contacted Mr Paul over these recent developments but he did not respond.

Councillor Sandy Lovatt, who heads the district's planning committee, last year lamented the building remaining empty, saying it should be the ‘heart of tourism’ for Abingdon.

He added: "It is in a perfect location and we should be doing everything we can to use it as part of efforts to boots tourism.”

Read Mr Lovatt's full statement here

A statement from the Vale said: “The Upper Reaches site is current leased on a long ground lease. We are aware of public concern about its future following its closure in 2015.

“To this end officers have worked to encourage the tenant to bring the site back into operation and have written to the leaseholder informing him of the need for requested repairs to be carried out.”

It went on to say: “The council is now involved in discussions with a new hotel developer to take an assignment of the existing lease and a new lease.

“These discussions are still at a very early stage and we will inform residents when there is an update.”