An hotelier has voiced his concerns about the ‘major fire risk’ and ongoing squatter break-ins at a derelict hotel in Bournemouth.

An hotelier has voiced his concerns about the ‘major fire risk’ and ongoing squatter break-ins at a derelict hotel in Bournemouth.

Woodcroft Hotel in Gervis Road was boarded up earlier this year, but since then the police have been called to reports of several squatter break-ins, including three in October.

The 57-bedroom hotel was taken into administration and has ceased trading, but the building has not yet been emptied.

The owner of neighbouring establishment Hotel Celebrity, Ken Robins, has said the large hotel is a fire hazard because it is still full of flammable material including beds, bedding and furniture.

He said: “The hotel is a major fire risk because it is still fully furnished and there have been numerous squatter break-ins over the last few months.

“It is an absolute eyesore and attracts extremely adverse comments because it looks derelict and decrepit.

“Lots of hotel owners in the area have complained because it is extremely dangerous. We are worried there will be a major fire of a similar scale to the blaze at the Cliff End Hotel in Boscombe.”

Station manager Steve Underhill, fire safety manager at Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said: “We have no power under the Fire Safety Order 2005 to enforce fire safety in a premises that has ceased trading and is derelict. We would refer any complaints of this nature to our colleagues at Dorset Police.”

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “Cladding was found to have been removed and one window was open, but no one was actually found inside.”

Bournemouth Echo

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