More details have emerged on the plan to use the Talbot Hotel in Leominster to accommodate asylum seekers.

North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin, who has voiced concern over the Government’s plan for the disused town-centre hotel, has posted on his website a message he had received from the Home Office “Asylum Accommodation Engagement Team”.

“We understand your disappointment over the decision being taken to use this site, given all the concerns which you and your constituents previously raised with us over issues such as the suitability of the location and the physical condition of the building,” the message said.


With renovation of the building now complete, it can now house up to 75 occupants, whose arrival is being phased “in order to minimise the impact on local services”, the Home Office said.

The three-star hotel offered 28 guest bedrooms when in commercial use.

“After discussion with the local authority, we have agreed that this site will be used for families,” the Home Office explained, though it did not state their likely nationalities.


This is in contrast to the use of the Three Counties Hotel in Hereford, the only other hotel in the county so far to house asylum seekers, which according to Herefordshire Council is being used solely to house men.

The Home Office team added that council officials “are welcome to visit the hotel site at any time should there be any concerns over environmental health, policing and/or fire safety”.

Sir Bill said he “voiced strong concerns” with immigration minister Robert Jenrick when the Talbot Hotel plan came to light earlier this summer.

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“I am not confident that Leominster has the infrastructure or the sort of accommodation that we would need and expect for housing asylum seekers,” he said at the time.

But the Home Office has now said: “The continually high numbers of new arrivals in the United Kingdom claiming asylum means that we must utilise all available accommodation that has passed the necessary regulatory checks and is now ready and available for use.”

Over 50,000 asylum seekers were being housed temporarily in UK hotels as of the end of June, Home Office figures show.