Blackpool hotelier punished for running 'unsafe' holiday accommodation

The Cornhill Hotel
The Cornhill Hotel
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A Blackpool seafront hotel has been stripped of its entertainment and alcohol licence after councillors heard there had been 'blatant disregard' shown for public safety.

Management at the Cornhill Hotel on the Promenade ignored improvement notices served by health and safety officers and continued to take bookings despite being ordered by the fire brigade to close the premises.

A statement by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service fire safety officer Stephen Simm said: "The issues were so serious that I felt the property would put anyone staying on the premises at risk of death or serious injury."

These included a faulty fire alarm system and inflammable materials near exits.

A council licensing panel revoked the licence after also hearing the police had received 38 calls to attend incidents at the hotel during 2018.

The infringements came to light after Blackpool Council received a number of complaints from guests who had stayed at the hotel.

Alan Diamond, who ran the Cornhill, told the hearing he had left a caretaker in charge after leaving Blackpool for a month to escape an abusive relationship.

He blamed the caretaker for allowing people to stay despite the fire service prohibition notice.

In December Mr Diamond had handed over the running of the premises to a management company, and he said most of the required work had been done now.

But no documentary evidence was available to back up these claims.

Ten improvement notices had been issued by town hall health and safety officers in 2018, but only one had been complied with.

In its decision notice following the hearing, the panel said Mr Diamond "demonstrated a complete disregard for the authorities by continuing to trade and failing to undertake the works."

He had also "shown a blatant disregard for the licensing objectives and the authorities attempting to ensure public safety".

The panel was also concerned that the ownership of the hotel was unclear.

The premises licence which was revoked authorises entertainment, late night refreshment and the supply of alcohol at the hotel.

Mr Diamond has 21 days in which to appeal the decision if he wishes to.