New twist in Star Hotel saga as it changes hands for just £1,000

The Star Hotel Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth's stunning Star Hotel was at the forefront of a new 'dining quarter' being planned for when the town's third river crossing takes traffic away from the quayside there. It is now boarded up with no announcement on when it is re-opening. - 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 Star Hotel Great Yarmouth

The front door of the Star Hotel has been boarded up for some months as of August 2021 with no sign of activity. - Credit: Liz Coates

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.

Star Hotel Great Yarmouth

Broken windows and a boarded up door are all that await people looking to stay at Great Yarmouth's Grade II listed Star Hotel. - Credit: Liz Coates

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.

The Star Hotel Great Yarmouth

Plants sit wilted and un-watered in windows of Great Yarmouth's Star Hotel which has not re-opened along with other hotels and guesthouses as lockdown has loosened. - Credit: Liz Coates

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.

Some 22 of its 41 rooms were included in a 2017 revamp which was hailed as a new lease of life for the distinctive building, which shut suddenly leaving festive diners in the lurch in 2016.

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.