Migrants seeking asylum to be housed in Penally military barracks while claims are processed

Video by west Wales reporter Jess Main

Migrants crossing the Channel in small boats could soon be housed at an army training facility near Tenby while their asylum claims are processed.

The Home Office is said to be considering using Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire as a temporary home for around 250 asylum seekers.

Penally training camp will house 250 migrants seeking asylum. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The camp is said to be under active consideration by the home office who are looking for Covid safe accommodation.

However, locals who live just yards from the camp say they're anxious and disappointed at the lack of warning. On Tuesday evening, protestors demonstrated against the plans outside the camp.

Cllr Jonathan Preston says the community weren't consulted by the Home Office. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Local Councillor, Jonathan Preston, says the community were not involved with the plans.

"We're quite a caring community there isn't a lack of empathy but there's a lack of consultation. I think if we'd have been involved in the process from an earlier stage I think people would have been able to accept that this might have been happening and they may have even embraced the situation and got involved but they haven't been given that opportunity."The Home Office has been accused of "exceptionally poor communication" over the plans, but a UK Government spokesman said: "During these unprecedented times, the Government is working with a range of partners and across departments to secure further accommodation and the MoD has offered use of some of its sites.

"When using contingency accommodation we work closely with organisations, including local authorities and law enforcement, throughout the process to ensure value for money and that vulnerable asylum seekers, who would otherwise be destitute, have suitable accommodation while their claims are processed."

Any training will be relocated to alternative sites or rescheduled, so there will no military personnel on site if and when they are used by the Home Office.

Vicky Moller is a refugee charity volunteer. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Refugee charity volunteer Vicky Moller says people need to be kinder.

"I feel desperately sorry for people who have made this journey then put into a barracks with such an uncertain future and I also understand local concerns but we need to have a humanitarian response and it doesn't just have to be open armed welcome it can be intelligent and hospitable and selective."

Around 400 people including families are to be housed in temporary accommodation at Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, from next week.