THE future of Knutsford's Sessions House is in doubt after the Ministry of Justice decided to consult on its permanent closure. 

The Department for Justice has said due to reduced workload across Cheshire, the two-courtroom venue, known in the town as the Sessions House, has not been used for hearings since May 2010.

From January 2011 to March 2011 it held hearings for Macclesfield Magistrates Court while it was being refurbished but has not been used since. 

Its future was in doubt in 2002 but was saved thanks to a campaign that included support from MP George Osborne. 

The ministry added to bring the court back into commission would require £300,000.

Since May 2010, all Crown Court hearings in Cheshire have been heard at either Chester Crown Court or Warrington Combined Court.

The Ministry added that the closure would save the department £50,000 a year. 

An HM Courts & Tribunals Service spokesperson said: "We are consulting locally on proposals to close Knutsford Crown Court.

“The building has not been used for any Crown Court matters since May 2010, due to reduced workload across the County of Cheshire. Since this date, all hearings have been dealt with at Chester Crown Court and Warrington Combined Court, which have better facilities for court users.

"To bring the court house back into commission would require additional maintenance costs of approximately £300,000.

“The consultation closes on August 6, 2014.

"All responses will be taken into consideration.”

To view the consultation documents and take part in the online survey click here