A COUNTY mayor says it is ‘unthinkable’ for a historic town hotel to close later this year.

Harry Bramer, mayor of Ross-on-Wye, says his post bag has been swelled with letters from residents deeply concerned about the possible loss of The Chase Hotel.

The owners of the Georgian building on Gloucester Road held a consultation about plans to convert it into apartments in January.

The consultation website says the the hotel will close on September 30, this year, because it is no longer able to trade profitably.

The proposals would see the building converted into apartments and five detached houses built on the hotel grounds.

But coun Bramer believes that to lose the hotel to redevelopment would be ‘staggeringly detrimental’ for Ross.

“It is unthinkable that the hotel be allowed to close,” he said in a letter to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“I would not dream of being critical of the Directors of Camanoe Estates Limited but I would remind them rather than giving up in the face of ‘changing visitor preferences’ the first option might be to seek a forward thinking change of ownership with more far sighted views than they seem to show.”

Coun Bramer said the owners will be recording their consultation with town residents.

“This does give me a further suggestion that we in Ross might investigate the possibility that the hotel be added to the list of assets of community value.

“So that, if closed and threatened with disposal, the community will be informed and given the opportunity to have a say in its future.

“Please do not think that all is lost. If you feel as I do that The Chase Hotel should be saved as an hotel and for the town of Ross-on-Wye.”

Residents can write to him at The Corn Exchange, High Street, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 5HL.