A Suffolk hotel has been forced to close up temporarily after receiving a gas bill for £35,000.
Roy Hunt a director of the Crown Hotel in Framlingham explained that for a five-year period the bill had only been estimated and that payments had been made through direct debit.
It was just before Christmas that the meter was finally read and the gigantic bill handed out.
Initial attempts to resolve the problem failed leading to the hotel having to close up its main functions.
The hotel is now in negotiation with the gas supplier to resolve the problem.
During the dispute the hotel has received the support of the local community who have come in for coffee and snacks while the main portion of the hotel is closed.
Mr Hunt said: "We cannot and would not pay this and despite negotiations with offers of settlement someone at the company decided to flex his muscles and cause us unimaginable grief.
The hotel has so far declined to give the name of the gas company.
By Andrew Smith
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