Urgent action to tackle vandalism at disused hotel in Plymouth

Urgent action is being taken to tackle ongoing problems with vandalism and anti-social behaviour at a derelict hotel in Plymouth.

Plymouth City Council has asked the owners of the disused Quality Hotel to – which was subject to the latest in a series of arson attacks earlier this week – to urgently put in place measures to improve its appearance, tighten security at the site, and make it safer.

If the measures are not put in place by 10 June 2015, the Council intends to issue a Notice on the owner requiring improvements under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This gives the Council power to act against land adversely affecting the amenity of the area.

The Council is working closely with local partners in police and fire services to address the ongoing problem. Between 20th January 2015 and 31st March 2015, local police attended 28 incidents at the Quality Hotel, and of these 10 were for anti-social behaviour and 18 were for public safety.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives, Housing and Community Safety for Plymouth City Council, said: “The health and wellbeing of local residents in this area is paramount and we will not tolerate vandalism and anti-social behaviour here or anywhere else in Plymouth. We want to reassure local residents that we are doing all we can to tackle this ongoing problem.

“Equally, the building is both an eyesore and represents a potential public health hazard and urgent action needs to be taken by the hotel’s owners to get it sorted. The building presents a very poor image of our city to the many visitors.

“I would also urge people to stay away from the hotel. Because of fires and historic damage there is a serious health risk to people if they enter the building as they could be exposed to potentially harmful asbestos particles.”

As a minimum, the Council is asking for the following actions to take place:

  • The owners either repair and replace all broken glazing panels, or board over each of the broken glazing panels with wooden boarding.
  • The owners remove graffiti from the building, and remove any debris from the ground surrounding the building, and dispose of this at an appropriate waste disposal site.

Ideally the Council also wants to see these measures:

  • Securing of non-openable metal grills over windows and doors to prevent unauthorised access, or put up a robust secure fence.
  • CCTV coverage to prevent potential further anti-social behaviour
  • Signage to warn against unauthorised access to the site.

Police are investigating the incident and have asked for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.