Needham House Hotel in Little Wymondley, which accepted a government contract to provide accommodation to asylum seekers, is at the centre of a legal battle with investors, the Comet has learned.

The hotel hit the headlines last month when it abruptly closed to the public, informing customers with bookings - including couples who had booked the venue for their wedding - that their reservations had been cancelled due to "government business".

The hotel had been contracted to provide housing to a reported 230 asylum seekers.

Fourteen asylum seekers arrived at the hotel at the end of May, but were moved out less than a week later,  Wymondley Parish Council told the Comet.


North Herts Council's leader, Elizabeth Dennis, says it was the Home Office's decision to move the asylum seekers out of Needham House.

It transpires the hotel is at the centre of a legal battle over a failed buy-to-let hotel room investment scheme, sold by a company called Oak Property Partners, which went into liquidation in 2017.


The most recent liquidator’s statement, prepared by the consultancy firm Grant Thornton, states that two separate legal battles involving Needham House Hotel are being pursued, one relating to the rooms and the other to the common areas of the hotel.

The liquidator wants to "ensure full control of the hotel is obtained", so it can "look to eventually sell the hotel as an unencumbered whole asset", the document says.

Meanwhile, Needham House Hotel's website has been taken down and the hotel is understood to currently have no guests.


Councillor Dennis said: "We have been made aware that the Home Office has moved asylum seekers out of Needham House Hotel.

"We have always maintained that the isolated location of the hotel is unsuitable and are awaiting further information from the Home Office regarding any future plans.

"We remain concerned regarding the disruption caused to both the local community and the people seeking asylum by the decisions made by the Home Office and hope lessons are learnt for the future."

Needham House Hotel and the Home Office have been contacted for comment.