New twist in Star Hotel saga as it changes hands for just £1,000
- Credit: Liz Coates
A prominent hotel shut since the start of the pandemic has been sold for just £1,000.
A land registry search has revealed Great Yarmouth's Star Hotel changed hands for the sum less than 18 months after finding a new buyer in January 2020 who paid £700,000.
Documents reveal the new owner is a company based in Malta called 36644 Ltd.
The registration for the company shows Michael James McMahon as an "involved party". He was also listed as a director of the Cheshire-based company The Star GY Ltd, the previous owner.
The land registry documents also show over 40 rooms have been registered to separate owners - possibly netting over £2m if they were all sold under an advertised investment scheme billed as a way of raising money to complete refurbishment.
The hotel remains boarded up with broken windows, alarms sounding, and falling further into disrepair.
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Another hotel, Durker Roods Country House Hotel, in Huddersfield, owned by the same company, has also been left in a similar situation and has stopped all communication.
An independent online investigation site Safe or Scam (SOS) has been probing the investment scheme, tracking the recent sale.
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According to Begbies Traynor, a business rescue and recovery service, a "transaction at under value" can be reversed by a court if the company becomes insolvent.
In some circumstances selling too cheap can be seen as a deliberate act to divert company assets away from creditors.
Being sold for £1,000 meant it went for less than it did in 1930 when it achieved £1,850.
Attempts have been made to contact The Star Hotel. It's phone line, website, and social media channels have been shut for some time.
It closed along with all other hospitality at the start of the first lockdown in March 2020, but has not re-opened since.
Social media posts earlier this year indicated it would open in June, but there has been no activity.
As of September 2021 it was still boarded up with multiple broken windows. On Tuesday (September 21) an alarm was sounding continuously.