Council leader wades into asylum seeker facility row

  • Watch a report by Heather Edwards.

Plans to house hundreds of asylum seekers in temporary cabins just outside a small Hampshire village have been condemned by both the local MP and residents as being 'incredibly dangerous'. The Home Office is considering plans to build accommodation for up to 500 asylum seekers on Ministry of Defence (MoD) land on the outskirts of Barton Stacey near Winchester.

The site is on the outskirts of the village of Barton Stacey Credit: Bing

The leader of Hampshire County Council is urging the government to reconsider plans.

The Home Office wants to temporarily house people there who will be provided with accommodation and three meals a day. The asylum seekers will not be detained but will have to sign in and out of the site. Since the site is Crown land, the government can carry outthe scheme by using emergency planning powers.

The local council and local MP are now working together to try to stop the plan.

Meanwhile, refugee charities say people seeking asylum need somewhere to live and should be housed in our communities. However, charities that support asylum seekers have also expressed concern that the sitewill be nothing more than an open prison.

A Home Office spokesperson issued the following statement:

A petition against the plans set up 2 days ago and has 2,000 signatures. The Home Office is expected to make a decision in the next few weeks.