Council in Premier Inn homeless denial

Premier Inns proposed designs for Exmouth

Premier Inns proposed designs for Exmouth - Credit: Archant

East Devon District Council has again moved to deny allegations that the new Premier Inn on Exmouth seafront will be used to house the homeless.

Some campaigners against the new hotel, set to be built on the site of the Elizabeth Hall, have alleged that the council, which is selling the site to Premier Inn, plans to use it as a ‘de-facto’ hostel.

In response, Councillor Jill Elson, EDDC’s cabinet member for sustainable homes and communities, said: “Claims that plans are afoot for EDDC to ask Premier Inn to help house the homeless are fanciful nonsense. We have certainly not talked with Premier Inn about anything to do with this sensitive issue.

“I imagine some have seen news stories about hotels being used in this way elsewhere in the country and jumped to conclusions.

“We have no plans to house homeless people from East Devon or anywhere else for that matter in such a prime seafront location.”

The council says that the number of homeless people it houses in bed and breakfasts is at an all time low, with nine occasions in the last 12 months across all of East Devon’s seven towns where this has been done, at a cost of £34,761.

It says there has been a total of 699 days spent by homeless households in temporary accommodation across the district, the vast majority of this in ordinary privately-rented houses or flats.

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Cllr Elson added: “Our approach is quite clearly to work hard in many different ways to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place.

“While in the past in Exmouth we had a few properties used for bed and breakfast, we now no longer have them due to this prevention work.”