Controversial MJB hotels go on sale in Norwich and Wymondham for £7 million

MJB Group hotels, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

MJB Group hotels, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Half a dozen controversial budget hotels have been listed for sale, raising the hopes of long-suffering neighbours.

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The properties, operated by MJB Group, have been valued at more than £7m altogether, and have a total of around 100 bedrooms.

An Evening News investigation previously revealed the volume of complaints made to police about incidents at some of the hotels, and manager Tony Burlingham admitted some of the properties had suffered issues around crime, prostitution and late-night parties.

News that the properties are on the market has been greeted with cautious optimism by locals who believe it could offer a fresh start.

The hotels are The Lodge and Bristol House Hotel in Unthank Road, Norwich and The Beeches, The Plantation House and The Governor's Hotel in the city's Earlham Road.

Maid Hajric had been staying at the MJB Beeches Hotel on Earlham Road, Norwich, on January 10 this y

Maid Hajric had been staying at the MJB Beeches Hotel on Earlham Road, Norwich, on January 10 this year when he turned aggressive.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A sixth property, The Abbey Hotel in Church Street, Wymondham, is also up for sale.

Businessman Mr Burlingham did not comment on the properties being put on the market.

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Contacted on February 23, he said he did not do business in the evening and declined to discuss the matter.

Subsequent calls were not answered, and voicemail messages were not replied to.

Tony Burlingham

Tony Burlingham - Credit: Archant © 2007

Andrew Boswell, city councillor for Nelson ward, said Green Party members had been working on issues around the hotels for almost five years.

'We know that these hotels have caused immense problems for the local residents with anti-social behaviour and being kept up late at night.

'To some extent people have been frightened by illicit activity going on, if not illegal, and it's immensely good news for the community that these hotels are now up for sale.

'What I hope for the community is that they're now bought by people who either want to turn them into private homes or to turn them back to the quality hotels they were in the past.'

MJB Group hotels, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

MJB Group hotels, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, said: 'I don't know who's going to purchase these properties and what they will do with them, but I think if you're someone who lives near to these hotels and have experienced the anti-social behaviour, I imagine you're quite relieved.

'However, you may also be quite apprehensive as to who or what will be moving in near to you.

'I will be taking an interest in that, and I'm sure the local authority will be too.'

He hoped it would be possible for the hotels to be turned into affordable homes.

The three properties in Earlham Road are all near to the Roman Catholic Cathedral.

The Beeches is a 23-bedroom detached house on sale for £1.5m, The Governor's Hotel has 14 bedrooms and is listed for £1m, with a separate £1m listing for its car park, and the 10-bedroom Plantation house, listed at £1.5m, has been sold,

Bristol House in Unthank Road has 16 bedrooms and is on the market for £1.3m, while the 15-bedroom Lodge Hotel in the same road is up for £1.5m.

The Abbey Hotel in Wymondham is listed for £750,000, and an online description says it has recently been converted into 20 'serviced apartments'.

One of the six properties, The Beeches, was previously leased from MJB Hotels by PW Roofe Ltd.

The arrangement began in 2009, but by 2011 an agreement was reached for MJB Hotels to take it back over.

A total of 14 people wer emade redundant in the shake-up.

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