Lucky squatter living in rundown grand hotel that used to be one of UK’s finest

Britain's luckiest squatter faces eviction from the grand hotel where he lives all on his own.

Tom, 30, moved into Bristol's Grosvenor Hotel one day when he pushed at the door – and it opened.

The 150-year-old hotel has been left unused for about two decades, with rotting furniture filling the rooms and graffiti covering the walls.

The massive building, which was built in 1875, is what Tom calls "home" and he has even started doing it up.

But council plans to regenerate the area may mean he is soon turfed from his grand abode.

The squatter enjoys stunning views across Bristol, and uses the grand staircase every night to get to one of the many bedrooms – although he does have to dodge precarious floors and beware of non-existent ceilings.

Tom has created a living room with a sofa, a table and a few chairs and has cleared some of the junk off the floor.

He said: "You can tell this place used to be the real crème de la crème. Some of the wood, the dark mahogany wood, the wallpaper, the ornateness around the high ceilings, the detailed work.

"There is so much heritage here. The people who have come through this place are amazing."

He added: "This is a wonderful building, there's loads to it that I really enjoy. And to have a safe space inside."

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Tom says he thinks the hotel could be used to home Ukrainians coming to the UK. He said: "maybe this hotel could be an answer to some short-term problems".

He grew up in Hertfordshire and has lived in Bristol for six weeks – struggling to find any official support after leaving rehab.

Tom said: "I had found a key card down an alleyway and it just happened that when I used it on the swipe, the door opened. But the door was already open.

"I thought it was to do with the key card but it really wasn't. I'm gradually, slowly tidying up each room one at a time.

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The building is caught in a planning row and Tom could ever person to stay at the Grosvenor Hotel.

The long-running saga of the "eyesore" near Temple Meads rail station reached its latest chapter this week.

Plans to use a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to acquire the former hotel in order to redevelop the land on which it is located will go before Bristol City Council's cabinet.

The proposed purchase of the Grosvenor is part of a scheme expected to cost between £16.67million and £19.67m that promises to deliver "significant city benefits".

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A decision on the future of the land and the buildings sitting on it – once bisected by a famous flyover – will be taken by Bristol's cabinet.

But for Tom, the Grosvenor Hotel is not just a name on a report or a building to be acquired by a variety of acronym – it is his home.

"I often think about the transition between the people on the outside of the building going about their day to day, trying to race for something," he said.

"I'm sat here with infinite time, trying to collect myself in my own bits of meditation, but at the same time feeling like I can keep myself busy as there's a lot to do."

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