'It's a huge disappointment' - new Premier Inn draws criticism over disabled access
PUBLISHED: 16:10 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:59 21 June 2019
A couple has rounded on planners for failing to insist a new seafront hotel was adapted to a standard that would have made it fully accessible to disabled visitors.
Keith and Glenys Bright, of Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, say they were "hugely disappointed" to discover the Premier Inn at South Denes did not have a tracking hoist in any of the rooms - or in a toilet in a public area.
Mrs Bright, 63, a carer for husband Keith, 59, who has MS, said both the hotel and planners were "missing a trick" in failing to insist the equipment was installed as a condition.
She said everyone should be able to enjoy a break away from home and to enjoy normal experiences with their families.
And while the hotel had failed to "make the effort" the council could have done more.
"It's a huge disappointment," Mrs Bright said.
"The council always seems to be grateful for crumbs from these big businesses and think they won't come if they ask them to spend a bit of extra money.
"I think it is a case of 'if you don't ask you don't get'."
"I am gutted for all the families with a family member that needs the facilities and would like to know why Yarmouth wasn't worth even one."
The Premier Inn at Stratford (at the Olympic park) has a ceiling hoist, and there are nine at London Archway, which is close to a hospital.
A spokesman for Premier Inn said: "The hotel was built to, and complies with, the latest building regulations.
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"The current regulations do not require that ceiling track hoists are included within universally accessible bathrooms.
"We value all feedback on hotels, and suggested improvements in our hotel offering, and should the regulations on hoists change, we will of course adopt the new requirements into future developments.
"In respect of London Archway Premier Inn, the inclusion of hoists was a specific planning requirement for the hotel set by the London Borough of Islington in that case."
Great Yarmouth Borough Council said in a statement: "While the borough council's planning department dealt with the planning application, the applicant opted to use an approved inspector from the private sector to sign-off the building regulations, which cover disability access features such as hoists.
"The building regulations set a minimum standard, and any business can choose to offer enhanced disability access for their customers."