Milton Keynes restaurant closes temporarily due to alleged “plague of rats”

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A popular city restaurant has been forced to close temporarily to deal with an alleged plague of RATS.

The Barn Beefeater Grill shut its doors without warning last week for “unforeseen maintenance repairs”, according to a notice on the door.

But sources claim it was due to a rat problem – that turned out to be a lot bigger than anticipated.

“They’re plagued with rats. They were seen running across the restaurant as bold as brass,” alleged one source.

“I’ve heard it’s so bad that they’ve got to take all the floors up to find out how the rats are getting in,” he added.

A spokesman for Whitbread, who own Beefeater as well as the Premier Inn a few metres away, said: “We can confirm that we are currently dealing with an isolated property related issue at the Barn Beefeater. The health and safety of our customers is our number one priority so the site will remain closed until the situation is rectified. We would like to apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused.”

But MK Council, whose officers gave the premises a five start hygiene rating just a few months ago, said its environmental health department was unaware of the issue.

Meanwhile Pest control vans were parked outside the premises this week, and surrounding drains were lifted and baited with rat poison.

The Barn, which is opposite Xscape, was one of the first eateries to open at CMK and is next door to the former Wyevale Garden Centre, which was demolished nine years ago

It is believed the rats may be getting into the restaurant via old ducting and pipes from the garden centre.

A nearby resident said: “I walk my dog in that area at night and I’ve seen rats by the dozen.

“They’ve even run across my feet on occasions. They’re almost tame and it’s horrible.”

Milton Keynes has frequently been dubbed ‘rat city’ in the past, with some residents on complaining the problem had reached epidemic levels.

“Until the council give us wheelie bins we’ll continue to suffer. Where’s there’s rubbish there’s rats,” said one.

Our photo was taken on Monday, in broad daylight near CMK market. At least six rats were visible.

* People in MK have to pay for pest control. The council contracts out to a private company called SDK Environmental Ltd, via its DialAPest service. They charge £39.50 to deal with rats. People on qualifying benefits are offered a discounted rate of £19.75.