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Brandon hotel closed

PUBLISHED: 10:11 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 22:03 07 July 2010

A Suffolk hotel has closed down after flouting fire safety regulations and putting the lives of guests at risk, and not for the first time.

A Suffolk hotel has closed down after flouting fire safety regulations and putting the lives of guests at risk, and not for the first time.

In 2008 the former owner of the Brandon House Hotel, John Nevins, was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling more than £200,000 after failing to meet fire safety rules over a two year period while he made changes to the High Street building in Brandon.

Mr Nevins however refused to pay the money which is still outstanding and officials believe he is now living in Ireland.

Meanwhile, his daughter, Larissa, was appointed by the family to head up the hotel but just weeks ago was found by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service to once again be operating without sufficient fire safety standards.

The woman fled however and has not been heard from since. The hotel has now gone into receivership while works are undertaken.

Area manager for protection and prevention at Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, Kevin Burton, said an enforcement notice had been served on Mr Nevins and then on his daughter but was clearly not complied with.

He said: “Last week we were contacted by the receivers and we then paid a visit to the premises and found the alarm system not working properly and no alarms on the second floor.

“There were literally wires hanging through the roof and the alarms weren't working in other parts of the building. We've spoken to the interim manager appointed by the receivers and issued a prohibition notice against people sleeping in the building.

“What we also realised was environmental health have also got a notice on the basement because of the risk of asbestos. I think it will be closed for a while as there is a considerable amount of work to do.”

The listed building, which has 37 rooms and a restaurant, often provided accommodation for tourists and was used by military personnel and families of those serving at nearby bases.

Moorfields Corporate Recovery, based in London, has now appointed Simon Thomas and Fred Satow as receivers of the hotel.

A spokesman for Moorfields said it was plausible the hotel could reopen before a buyer was found.

He added: “The hotel is currently closed whilst some refurbishment works are completed however it is anticipated that the hotel will reopen shortly. The receivers are currently seeking a purchaser for the property.”

Receivers are normally brought in by a bank and tasked with selling the building for the highest price to regain money owed.

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