Premier Inn promises action over 'drug den' gardens
- Credit: Archant
A Norwich hotel has promised action over antisocial behaviour in its private gardens after residents claimed it was "a drink and drugs party zone".
A Premier Inn spokeswoman said the Norwich Nelson City Centre hotel on Prince of Wales Road would be sending a senior team member to meet with residents, council and police, but said homelessness and antisocial behaviour were "complex issues".
Christian Scales, 48, has lived on the Baltic Wharf estate, which backs onto the hotel, for 14 years.
He said for the past year a broken fence has given groups of young adults unfettered access to the grounds, allowing them to use the space to play loud music, take drugs, destroy benches and set bins on fire.
"It's become some kind of party zone", he said, "and a drink and drugs den."
A Premier Inn spokeswoman said: "We understand the concerns faced by residents and have in the past asked the local authority and police for support.
"We've faced planning challenges due to the site's proximity to the river, and the fact it's in a conservation area."
However, they stressed they "welcomed the opportunity to urgently review measures that are within our control", and that despite clear issues would "continue to deliver the best Premier Inn experience possible".
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They added: "We also want to be a good neighbour in Norwich, for example by making space available for use as a vaccination centre."
Following our previous article exposing residents' concerns, the gap in the fence between Baltic Wharf and the gardens has been repaired.
But Mr Scales explained teenagers were spotted scaling it only hours later.
He said: "I am glad the hotel is taking action, but they'll have to do more than replace a fence to root out the problems.
"Earlier this week people were playing really loud drum and bass music in the garden. We notified the hotel, but the security guard didn't kick anyone out — just told them to turn it down.
"I understand it was intimidating but it was a bit disappointing."
He went on: "We did have a police officer come to Baltic Wharf the other day though, which was reassuring, and is something that hasn't happened before.
"I'm glad we're finally being listened to."