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Council obtains injunction to stop unauthorised use of hotel as hostel

The High Court has confirmed an interim injunction to stop a second Great Yarmouth hotel from being used as a hostel for asylum seekers or others.

Scales of justice. Credit: Unsplash / Tingey Injury Law Firm

In July around 50 asylum seekers were placed in the town's Hotel Victoria as part of a Home Office scheme.

Under planning legislation, a hostel is a different type of use from a hotel.

The council's claim is that use as a hostel would be an unauthorised change of use, requiring planning permission. The council sought an injunction to prevent the hotel's owner, Kashif Jan, and the company that oversees the scheme on behalf of the Government - Serco Group - from using a second property, the Embassy Hotel, as a hostel..

An interim injunction was granted on 16 September which was then extended at a second hearing on 23 September to run until the end of November, when a full hearing will take place.

The council was represented by Richard Wald KC, who appeared before Mr Justice Cotter in the High Court.

The court order prevents the use of the Embassy Hotel on Camperdown as a hostel for accommodating or facilitating the accommodation of asylum seekers or other persons.

In addition to the injunction, earlier this month the Council served a planning contravention notice in relation to the Hotel Victoria, having earlier served a temporary stop notice.

The notices were issued because the council believes the current use of the premises is outside of existing planning consents.

Council leader Carl Smith said: "Great Yarmouth has a proud history of welcoming and supporting people from all over the world. We will continue to help support the asylum seekers placed in the town, and who have no control over where they are housed.

"We do have a responsibility though to enforce planning laws and make sure that local residents and businesses all play by the same rules and are protected from unauthorised and inappropriate use of local properties."

Last modified on 06 September 2023

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