Tony Burlingham claims youths have ‘completely wrecked’ one of his MJB hotels in Norwich
- Credit: Archant
The owner of a controversial hotel chain claims youths have 'completely wrecked' one of his properties in Norwich.
Tony Burlingham, who owns MJB Hotels, said they broke into Plantation Hotel causing 'hundreds of thousands of pounds' worth of damage.
The property, on Earlham Road, is currently closed and has been boarded-up due to subsidence.
But Mr Burlingham said a group of young people gained entry to the hotel at some point on Monday.
'They have completely wrecked it,' he said. 'They smashed in all the doors, and have smashed all the bathrooms.
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'They even tried to have a fire in one of the rooms. It's going to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to fix.'
Mr Burlingham, who owns several MJB Hotels in Norwich, said it was second time the property had been targeted in the space of a month.
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And he claims it could be the same youths who he said were committing anti-social behaviour along Unthank Road and Earlham Road.
His comments come as police in South Norwich today revealed their priorities for the area following a public vote.
Sixty per cent of voters asked officers to tackle drug dealing and anti-social behaviour on Unthank Road.
But an email from police to Norwich city councillors - seen by this newspaper - revealed the focus would be on MJB hotels.
Mr Burlingham denied that his properties, namely the Lodge Hotel and Bristol House Hotel, were responsible for the issues.
'There are gangs of kids running amok on Unthank Road and Earlham Road and police don't have control of them,' he said.
'They might be standing outside my hotels, but they aren't my customers.'
Green Party councillor for the city's Nelson Ward, Denise Carlo, had nominated the hotels as a priority for police this month.
She said that by doing so, she hoped officers would finally 'get to grips with the issue.'
'All we want is for police to stop the anti-social behaviour from going on and to look at the lack of supervision on site in the way of staff,' she said.
A police spokesman said officers were aware of the incident at Plantation Hotel, but were unable to enter due to the dangers of the building.