One of Chorley’s most famous landmarks The Pines Hotel is put up for sale

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It’s been the venue for many happy memories down the years – now one of Chorley most famous landmark hotels could be facing a completely different future.

The 35-bedroom Pines Hotel is up for sale and attracting interest from potential suitors – including discount retail stores.

HRH Princess Anne with Betty Duffin and Alan Morrow at the Pines Hotel

HRH Princess Anne with Betty Duffin and Alan Morrow at the Pines Hotel

The upmarket Victorian hotel – popular down the decades for functions, such as weddings, conferences and cabaret – has been at the centre of strong rumours over its future for several years.

Last summer it was bought by Heapey-based Primrose Developments. Privately owned and managed since 1963, The Pines, next to the roundabout on the A6 Preston Road, was previously owned by the Duffin family.

The business is still run by Betty Duffin.

However, Simon James, head of development at Primrose Holdings, told the Guardian: “We do own the Pines, we have had interest, but as we speak there’s nothing concluded. We have not done a deal with anyone.

“It’s one of those quite public sites, it’s on the A6, in that the public are very much aware of it.

“But when we bought it there were all kinds of people interested in it and we continue to receive interest. But we have no fixed plan.

“We have interest from pub users, from discount food store users, hotel users.

“A number of users had expressed interest before we bought it.”

Asked if it was for sale, he said: “Everything in this country is available at the right price.

“If a very high offer is received for the site, of course, it would be considered.

“You have to consider planning consent and what people say they can do, whether they have the money.

“It is a very visible site with trees and you have to consider the larger community, the greater area.

“We would certainly listen to proposals for the site.

“We are fundamentally a property company, we’re not hoteliers.

“There’s no marketing material for the site, no boards on the site.

“It’s just people who are in certain fields who are interested.

“It’s a high visibility site on a corner.”

He used pub chain Marstons as an example of a company that theoretically might be interested.

“Marstons are always looking for sites like this. It ticks all the boxes,” he said.

He added: “The value depends on the nature of the use.

“It’s a sensitive site and you can’t just put a tower block on it or fifteen stories of apartments.”

Over the years the original Victorian house and the Dixon Suite have been extended and upgraded.

The last big alteration was completed April 2005, when the Dixon Suite was rebuilt.

It now has seating of 300 for a cabaret show.

The suite is used most weekends in the summer for weddings, functions and cabarets.

The award-winning gardens are seen as the perfect backdrop for the bride and groom’s keepsake photographs.

In December 1997 the conservatory was added, adjacent to the restaurant.

This area is now used for light meals or a wedding reception area.

What are your memories of The Pines?

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