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Hotel closed down

PUBLISHED: 10:58 18 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 03 July 2010

NINE people were forced to leave a Great Yarmouth hotel on Friday night after environmental health officers closed it down by serving an enforcement notice relating to serious electrical faults.

NINE people were forced to leave a Great Yarmouth hotel on Friday night after environmental health officers closed it down by serving an enforcement notice relating to serious electrical faults.

David Smith, landlord of the quayside Duke's Head Hotel, protested that he had only been informed by the decision by phone at 5pm on Friday.

And he said that those being forced out included his wheelchair-bound wife Gina who had only come out of hospital last Wednesday following a bowel operation.

People staying at the hotel included his mother and father Dave and Val, employees Mandy and Chris Adams and three single men aged between 50 and 65.

“Most of them have got no money and won't be able to find anywhere to go at such short notice” said Mr Smith who only left hospital himself yesterday for treatment for an infected knee.

He admitted he had become aware that the electrics had not been checked since 1972 from a surveyor's report when he took over the Admiral Taverns' property in 2006. As a result of that report and subsequent inspections Yarmouth Borough Council had served an improvement notice on the hotel in December requiring electrical work to be done within a month.

King's Lynn electrician T and M Brown had carried out an inspection two weeks ago and the report - outlining 46 serious electrical faults - was delivered to the council at 3pm yesterday.

Mr Smith was informed two hours later he would have to close the premises. He said: “As I understand it, if the electrician had deemed the faults to be life threatening, he could have turned the current off straight away and as soon as Admiral Taverns became aware of the situation they pledged to get the work down immediately and that will be within five weeks.”

However Peter Astle, the council's senior environmental health officer, said they had no choice but to serve a prohibition notice because of the serious threat to life posed by the electrics including faults to the shower units.

One of his colleagues, Kate Watts, later added that all nine guests had been given alternative accommodation and that the situation with the hotel would be reviewed today .

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