A FORMER hotel faces council action for reopening as a house of multiple occupation without permission.

Southend Council is recommending enforcement action should be taken against the owners of the former Balmoral Hotel, in Valkyrie Road, Westcliff.

The 27-bedroom Balmoral closed in July after the hotel owners said it could no longer compete with other hotels in the town.

The council received a complaint in late July about the hotel being used as residential accommodation.

Officers met with the site owner, who confirmed it was being used for this. He was offered the chance to submit a planning application for the change of use, which has not yet happened.

Julian Lowes, chairman of the Milton Ward Community Group, said: “We oppose any further houses of multiple occupancy in our wards.

“These houses of multiple occupancy make it a very transitory area.

“Residents are fed up to the back teeth. We want to see people settling down here, bringing up families and putting down roots.

“The place will just end up like a dump.”

The council’s development control committee meets tomorrow to discuss the housing issue.

The owner could not be contacted for comment.