Owner of Belper B&B ordered to pay out £24,000

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

The owner of a Belper bed and breakfast has been ordered to pay out more than £24,000 after breaching fire safety rules.

Neil Wayne, owner of Cedars Guest House on Field Lane, pleaded guilty at Derby magistrates’ court to four breaches.

A scheduled fire safety audit was carried out in March 2014 and identified four breaches of fire safety at the guest house.

The breaches included the fire alarm and emergency lighting not being adequately tested, as well as inadequate fire risk assessment.

The escape routes from the upper floor of the hotel were also rated as inadequate.

Despite numerous visits and correspondence with Mr Wayne, work was not carried out to address the breaches until the week of the court appearance - 16 months after an enforcement notice was issued.

Mr Wayne was ordered to pay a total of £24,074 in fines, costs and a victim surcharge.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service Group Manager Phil Mitchell said: “This serves as a stark warning that the fire service will consider action against anyone found to be in breach of fire safety regulations and where they fail to comply with any statutory notices issued.

“The public should continue to be reassured that legal action will be used when necessary, where any serious breaches of fire safety regulations are identified.”

Speaking at the conclusion of proceedings, Mr Wayne said all fire risk works demanded for The Cedars by the fire enforcement officers had been completed.

“The Cedars has been thoroughly fitted with increasing levels of fire safety equipment over the years, ever since The Cedars was the corporate headquarters of Deb Chemicals Plc,” he explained.

Mr Wayne said the installation and financing of the additional requested works had resulted in a delayed response to the enforcement notice, but that it was completed once funds became available.

He added his intention to appeal against the “immense” fines.