The future of the Hare and Hounds in Timperley is under threat after owner Marston’s confirmed it was in negotiations to sell the site of the pub to a property developer.
The Wood Lane pub and restaurant has been a fixture of the local hospitality scene for over 150 years, appearing in 1872 on one of the first Ordnance Survey maps of Altrincham.
It is reopening on Monday in line with the latest relaxation of government restrictions having been closed since December.
However a residential property developer, Churchill Retirement Living, has used a post on its LinkedIn page to claim it has exchanged contracts on the 1.24-acre site comprising the Hare and Hounds and adjoining bowling green.
That post has now been deleted, but a spokesperson for brewery Marston’s confirmed to Altrincham Today that it was in discussions with Churchill Retirement Living, although talks were at a “very early stage”.
The spokesperson said: “We are in exclusive discussions with Churchill Retirement Living regarding a possible development opportunity for the Hare & Hounds site.
“This is in a very early stage and the pub continues to operate as normal and will be reopening on Monday.”
Any sale of the site is by no means certain as pubs are classed as community facilities and councils usually seek to retain them unless they’re proven to be unviable.
But the news has been met with disappointment by the pub’s customers.
One local resident, who said he had been a regular at the pub for 25 years, said: “I would be very unhappy if this went ahead. Apart from anything else, I don’t like to see these old buildings disappear.
“Twenty years ago the Hare and Hounds was one of the best pubs Marston’s had.
“I like it because it’s out of the hubbub of the town centre and you get more local residents here. I’ve spoken to a few other regulars and they are not happy about it at all.
“I think there will be an awful lot of people who would want to save it.”
Although historically a pub, the Hare and Hounds has developed more of a reputation in recent years for its food offer following a complete refurbishment.