Anger as hotel garden becomes 'drink and drugs party zone'
- Credit: Archant
Neighbours are furious with a riverside hotel for letting its gardens become a hotbed of "drug-related anti-social behaviour".
Residents living at Baltic Wharf, which backs onto the gardens connected to Premier Inn Norwich Nelson City Centre hotel on Prince of Wales Road, said they were fed up with the failure to take action.
A sign by the gardens as you approach from the walkway on Prince of Wales Road says they are private, and "for the use of hotel guests only".
But according to Christian Scales, 48, who has lived on the estate next door for 14 years, he never sees hotel guests there — just big groups of young adults setting bins on fire, taking drugs and ripping apart benches, sometimes until 3am on a weekend.
The hotel was given more than 24 hours to respond, but has yet to answer our questions.
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Mr Scales said: "The gardens used to be immaculate, with all these lovely sculptures and water features. But then about two years ago they started becoming overgrown and the antisocial behaviour began.
"Now you see drugs paraphernalia, smashed glass and empty vodka bottles everywhere."
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Last July, part of the fence separating Baltic Wharf from the hotel was brought down by a tree, but still has not been fixed.
"The hotel put up orange barriers, but they were ripped down and thrown in the river," Mr Scales said. "There's open access for anyone and everyone, and people walk through our private estate to get there."
Until about three months ago, he said the shouting, drinking and drug taking was sporadic. Now, with the warmer weather, it's "practically every night".
"It's become some sort of party zone", he said.
His neighbour Bob Carmichael, whose balcony overlooks the gardens, moved to the estate from Liverpool four years ago to retire.
"It's a disgrace", he said. "Every time I go into the hotel they fob me off and say it's a matter for police."
Another neighbour said: "Some of the residents have actually cleaned up all the mess on a few occasions and delivered it to hotel management to see if they'll do anything about it, but they never have."
She added: "At a time when Norwich is really relying on tourism, it's going to make such an awful impression on guests."