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High Court block on £9 per night hostel

PUBLISHED: 16:17 20 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:42 23 August 2010

DEVELOPERS have been handed a High Court injunction stopping them opening a controversial £9 a night hostel . Gravesham Borough Council made the application following a furious meeting between protestors and bosses of HFHA Group Ltd. The company had pl

DEVELOPERS have been handed a High Court injunction stopping them opening a controversial £9 a night 'hostel'.

Gravesham Borough Council made the application following a furious meeting between protestors and bosses of HFHA Group Ltd.

The company had planning consent for a 60-room "budget hotel" in Cygnet House, Windmill Street, Gravesend, but began conversion work for a hostel instead, sparking a furious reaction from residents.

During the High Court appearance last Thursday the company agreed not to open the building for accommodation until at least June 11, but there is expected to be a High Court trial on June 2 to determine the matter fully.

HFHA have also now submitted another planning application to the council for a 40-room hotel at the site, which will be decided upon next month.

Campaigner Gordon Jenns, of nearby Sheppy Place, Gravesend, said: "I am very pleased about the injunction, and I am glad the council has stepped in to stop it.

"But we are all not pleased that they have put in another application for what looks like the same thing.

"This is not the place for it, no one wants it here. It is not going to be an establishment of any quality and we will all lodge our objections again."

Mr Justice Roderick Evans also ordered HFHA to pay the council's costs for the hearing.

During a site meeting last month Dean D'eye, Managing Director of HFHA, said they would open without planning consent for changes to the scheme.

Both Mr D'eye and Dan Dennis, who works for Journeys - the company that would operate the facility, denied the plan was to create a 'hostel' despite advertising the facility as a hostel on their website, a statement that has now been removed.

Residents and business owners said they were showing 'a blatant disregard of planning regulations and law' and claimed the plan would have a negative effect on the area.

Speaking about the injunction, council leader Mike Snelling said: "I am very glad that we have managed to achieve the High Court injunction.

"We promised we would do something about it, and we have. We have achieved our objective.

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