HEREFORD'S Three Counties Hotel is to be used to house asylum seekers.

Herefordshire Council today (Sunday) confirmed that it has been notified of the Home Office's intentions.

The plan was revealed by community website Hereford Voice, which has shared with the Hereford Times some official documents it had obtained.

A letter sent by Ann Smith, deputy director of resettlement, asylum support, and integration at the Home Office, says a record number of asylum seekers are currently being supporting in Britain due to the "unprecedented number of individuals crossing the Channel in small boats and claiming asylum".


The letter, a copy of which it is believed to have been sent to Herefordshire Council chief executive Paul Walker, says eligible asylum seekers are ordinarily placed in housing, but that the Home Office has been forced to consider alternative accommodation options.

Hotels are not a long-term solution, but the Home Office is required to do everything practically possible to meet their obligation to house destitute asylum seekers, the letter says.

Hereford Times: The Three Counties Hotel, Belmont Road, HerefordThe Three Counties Hotel, Belmont Road, Hereford

It seeks to confirm that the hotel has a maximum capacity of 120, and said that the "strategic migration partner" for the area will now arrange a meeting with local authority officials and other relevant partners.

Hotels across the country are currently being used to house asylum seekers, with fact-checking organisation Full Fact finding earlier this month that £5.6 million per day is being spent on housing asylum seekers in hotels.


The Three Counties Hotel, which is on a 3.2-acre site on Belmont Road, has been in the headlines in recent months after a planning application was submitted by Lidl, which wants to build a new supermarket there.

The hotel, originally the White Eagle Motel, boasted 32 bedrooms when it was built in 1979.

It changed hands in 1981, with 28 bedrooms among the additions made before being sold again in 1995 to the Price family, under whose ownership the restaurant was extended and a function suite added. It was bought by its current owners in 2016.

We are trying to contact the hotel owners for comment about the asylum seekers plan.

Hereford Times:

A Herefordshire Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the council has received a letter from the Home Office regarding the use of Three Counties Hotel as a site to accommodate a number of people seeking asylum.

"We will be meeting with Government officials and local multi agency partners in the coming days, but until then this is a Home Office matter and we do not have any further information.”

READ MORE: "Urgent meeting" call over plans to house asylum seekers in Hereford

Local councils in other areas where hotels are being used as accommodation for asylum seekers have said that they were not involved in the decision and were not consulted about the choice of hotels or placement of asylum seekers in the area.

"The Home Office makes the decision on which properties are used and makes all arrangements," said a spokesperson for Somerset County Council after the Home Office confirmed it would be using hotels in the area as short-term accommodation.