Devon Council takes Home Office to court to stop third hotel being used to house migrants

17 November 2022, 08:20 | Updated: 17 November 2022, 08:30

Migrants arriving in the UK
Migrants arriving in the UK. Picture: Getty/Visit South Devon
Rachael Venables

By Rachael Venables

A council in Devon has launched a Judicial Review against the Home Office, to try and prevent a third hotel in the borough being filled with migrants and asylum seekers.

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Caller says hotel caretaker and family told to pack their bags to make room for migrants

Torbay Council previously warned it was suffering "massive financial costs" with its social workers being pushed to "breaking point” with the amount of asylum seekers being placed in its hotels.

I understand that dozens of youngsters the Home Office thought were adults have claimed to be children, placing a huge pressure on already strained local services.

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Then, on Tuesday, Julie called LBC and told Nick Ferrari a third hotel was about to be used, with the caretaker, his wife and three young children being given 24 hours to pack their bags and leave their home.

The council say they were not informed about this by either the Home Office nor their contractors, and so immediately invoked their lawyers.

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They say the action has now been ‘paused’ while they seek a Judicial Review against the Government, on three grounds:

1.    The council had a legitimate expectation from the Home Office that no further hotels would be used in the Torbay area 

2.    The Home Office failed to consider the planning position, in particular the location of the hotel(s) within a Core Tourism Investment Area 

3.    The Home Office failed to consider the significant impact on children’s services caused by the use of the existing hotel for accommodating asylum seekers  

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Migrants crossing the Channel on Sunday
Migrants crossing the Channel on Sunday. Picture: Getty

Kevin Mowat, Deputy Chief Executive at Torbay Council, said: “On the morning of 15 November, we received confirmation from Clearsprings Ready Homes that due diligence on a third hotel had been completed and that they proposed to go live with it today.

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"We have since had notification that the use of the hotel is being paused whilst a decision of the Home Office is awaited. “We are continuing to work with Clearsprings Ready Homes and their managers within the two hotels in operation to ensure appropriate support is in place for those currently staying at the hotels.

"We will also continue to ask questions and to inform the Home Office about the impact that these hotels are having on our services and the Bay.”