Residents of the former Bishops Court Hotel have been relocated to alternative accomodation following an inspection of the property.
On the 22nd September 2014 Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service and Torbay Council Housing Standards carried out a joint inspection of Bishops Court Hotel, Lower Warberry Road, Torquay. Concerns about the standards of fire safety and the risk to people living in the property were raised following a serious fire.
The risk to occupants was deemed so significant that the Service issued a prohibition notice preventing the use of the entire Mansion House. Torbay Council also took immediate action by issuing a further Prohibition Order relating to other parts of the property involving 11 apartments. The issuing of these notices was a last resort and alternative safe accommodation had to be found for all residents.
The Fire Service works closely with partner agencies to ensure a consistent and proportionate response when fire safety concerns are raised working together with the police and Torbay Council, to provide a co-located team as part of the Mayor’s “Rogue Landlord” programme. This case demonstrates the benefits of this collaborative approach, resulting in persons at imminent risk of injury or death from fire being removed from harm.
Both the Fire Service and Torbay Council Housing Standards Team support business and landlords in achieving their fire safety requirements, In many cases fire safety solutions can be simple and not very expensive, with minimal if any disruption. The emphasis is first and foremost on assistance and providing advice to secure compliance – enforcement action or prohibition of use of premises is always a last resort.
The Service and its partners are committed to ensuring that people who live, work and visit Torbay are safe from the consequences of fire. Equally, the importance of a thriving commercial sector is recognised.
If members of the public are concerned about rented accommodation they live in they should contact Torbay Council on (01803) 208723 or www.torbay.gov.uk