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Park Hotel in Diss closes for an expected 12 months to house refugee families

Customers have been left frustrated by cancelled bookings after it was revealed that a hotel would be temporarily closing to provide accommodation for refugee families.

Park Hotel, in Denmark Street in Diss, closed its doors to customers on Wednesday to work with the Home Office, for what is expected to be a 12-month period.

The hotel, which is run by Best Western, will keep all staff in place and is adding additional team members to help support the new arrivals, which will be families, rather than individuals.

The Park Hotel in Diss. Picture: Mark Bullimore
The Park Hotel in Diss. Picture: Mark Bullimore

A spokesman for South Norfolk Council said: “The council has been informed by the Home Office that, from Wednesday, it will be using the Park Hotel in Diss as a home for families who are seeking asylum.

“At the moment, we have no further details, but we are working closely with our partners to ensure that support for both our guests and the residents of the town is available, if required.”

As part of the plans, the Government will arrange services such as doctors and dentists separately so as not to place extra demand on local services.

Best Western, which runs the hotel, has been approached for comment. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Best Western, which runs the hotel, has been approached for comment. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Disappointment was expressed by some members of the public on social media, whose bookings or planned stays at the hotel would need to change.

However, others praised the compassion behind the decision, pointing out that there were many other places to stay close by.

The government has recently come under fire for its approach to immigration, having faced legal challenges to its plans to deport illegal arrivals to Rwanda, and criticism over a floating barge in Dorset, which has been used to house asylum seekers while their applications are processed.

Best Western declined to comment when approached by the Diss Express this week.

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