More than 200 asylum seekers to move into luxury spa hotel in UK

The plans to house 207 asylum seekers in four-star Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli – which costs up to £240 a night – has triggered outrage.

The Sunday Express understands that under the proposals, due to begin on July 3, the hotel – a popular wedding destination – will be closed to paying guests and all events cancelled.

The plans were revealed only a week ago when Carmarthenshire County Council released a statement confirming that “following repeated requests for information” it had “received written confirmation from the Home Office”.

There are now fears that jobs are at risk and that tourism ambitions for the area will be derailed if the plush hotel closes its doors to paying guests.

The cost of an overnight stay at the hotel, which is based around an elegant Edwardian manor house, ranges from £191 for a double room to £226 for a family room.

The plush spa area offers a “hot tub room” treatment and relaxation rooms and unique “Copper tub bathing rituals”.

The 77-room hotel is owned by Essex-based property investment company Sterling Woodrow. On its website the company boasts the hotel is “Tucked in the Welsh hillside, standing proud over the world-famous Gower and Carmarthenshire coastline”.

The hotel, it adds, “enjoys an excellent reputation for high standards of accommodation and cuisine”. Today the hotel was still taking bookings on its website with potential guests oblivious that their plans could be cancelled.

Dame Nia Griffith, a former shadow Welsh secretary, condemned the plans and said: “The complete and utter disregard from Tory UK ministers in going ahead with this proposal without any proper communication or consultation with the surrounding communities is, even for them, truly shocking.

“It would see the loss of a valued hospitality venue, vital to the area’s tourism economy.

“Many people are very upset at having to rethink plans for weddings and other functions over the coming few months. There is also huge concern for the hotel’s existing staff and the uncertainty about jobs.”

Robert Lloyd, a campaigner against the plans, condemned “the secrecy, the lack of consultation and then the speed at which they are trying to do this”.

He said: “We’re not being Nimby about it. We don’t see the plan as being fair in any way to the asylum seekers themselves because they are going to be cooped up in a hotel.”

He said the council had an excellent track record for welcoming asylum seekers and placing them around the county in appropriate settings.

He went on: “These people have been embraced by the local community. They’ve had support, they’ve had access to local health services, their kids are going to school locally – it works.”

The controversy comes as Labour claims that £7million a day has been spent on housing asylum seekers in hotels on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s watch. In the 12 months to June last year, 103,000 asylum applications were still awaiting a decision.

Andrew RT Davies, who leads the Conservative group in the Welsh Parliament said: “It’s important that hotels aren’t commandeered against local wishes and that’s why the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary have recently been actively acquiring alternatives to hotel accommodation to reduce local tensions and the bill to the British taxpayer.”

The Stradey Park Hotel was invited to comment.

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