‘Preston hotel was like understaffed prison’

Clifton Hotel on Fishergate
Clifton Hotel on Fishergate
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The closure of two crime-riddled city centre hotels may be short lived, it emerged today.

Residents were relieved when the Clifton and Essex hotels on Fishergate Hill, Preston, were ordered to be closed until new management was found.

Both venues have have a chequered history having been home to drug users and criminals over the years, and have been subject to many police raids.

They were closed earlier this year after a man died.

Last February an arsonist tried to torch the building.

And in August 2014 a man died from multiple injuries after falling from his girlfriend’s top floor room at the Clifton Hotel.

Many residents and traders have been affected by anti-social behaviour.

PC Carl Ingram, community beat manager for Broadgate, said: “The situation with the hotels is often cause for concern particularly when overdoses and deaths are occurring there and police vans are often parked outside."

"People are afraid to walk past the buildings because of intimidating people shouting up to residents and loitering outside. Both properties have been problematic for years, housing many of the very worst individuals in Preston. The Clifton Hotel in particular resembles an unstaffed prison wing.”

Dave Johnston, secretary of Broadgate Residents’ Association, said: “Residents had lots of trouble with people as very unsavoury characters were housed there.”

A spokesman for the firm that used to run both sites, Strettles property developers, said: “All we know is that the building is reopening soon under the same usage, just not run by us.”