The hotel group failed to ensure a full asbestos survey was undertaken before refurbishment started. The court heard that an asbestos surveyor, called to the site after work began, discovered the widespread presence of asbestos in the eaves of the building. He also found asbestos on the second floor, which was likely to be linked to the removal of walls and ceilings as part of the refurbishment.
A licensed asbestos contractor was then asked to remove the material and seal off the contaminated area to prevent fibres spreading to other parts of the hotel. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) was also notified.
Britannia Hotels that owns 42 hotels with more than 8,000 bedrooms and Pontins Holiday Camps, pleaded guilty to two separate breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay £40,051 costs.