Subsidence shuts MJB Plantation Hotel in Norwich - Plantation Gardens evacuated

Roger Connah, chairman of Plantation Garden Preservation Trust puts up a closed sign.Picture: ANTONY

Roger Connah, chairman of Plantation Garden Preservation Trust puts up a closed sign.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A Norwich hotel has been shut and the city's historic plantation gardens next door evacuated because of subsidence on Friday.

The MJB Plantation Hotel on Earlham Road, Norwich, has been shut after cracks opened up in its wall.

The MJB Plantation Hotel on Earlham Road, Norwich, has been shut after cracks opened up in its wall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Cracks were spotted in the corner of a wall of the Plantation Hotel, in Earlham Road, today. The hotel is run by the controversial Norwich hotel chain MJB and was expected to sell for around £1.5m.

Surveyors from Norwich City Council found the cracks extended across the car park and into a medieval wall of the Plantation Gardens next door.

That led to the hotel and the gardens being evacuated shortly before 2pm today.

Police were called to the scene and five people in the gardens, including a family of four, had to leave.

Subsidence at MJB Plantation Hotel on Earlham Road, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Subsidence at MJB Plantation Hotel on Earlham Road, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The gardens have been closed, with police tape over the gates.

Roger Connah, chairman of the Plantation Garden Preservation Trust, said he had received a call from Tony Burlingham, who owns the hotel, part of the MJB string of properties, at 2pm.

Mr Connah said: 'There is an issue of subsidence in the corner of the hotel with the cracks leading to a major wall in the Plantation Garden.

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'So, the decision was quickly and sensibly taken to close the garden and they have had to shut the hotel.

'I don't know how long that will be for, whether it is for a day or for a month. We're waiting to see.'

Two cones holding a large 'No Entry' sign were positioned over the driveway to the hotel.

A large crack could be seen in the corner brickwork to the left of the hotel's door, while the lower floor window next to it appeared to have been pushed out of alignment.

Norwich City Council building surveyors were this afternoon inspecting the building and the surroundings.

The gardens are just a stone's throw away from the location where a double decker bus fell into a sinkhole which opened up in Earlham Road in 1988.

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