CONCERNS have been raised that plans to move asylum seekers into a Flintshire hotel could significantly increase a village's population.

Flintshire Council's website shows that on Monday, June 12, an application was received by the authority regarding plans for the Northop Hall Country House Hotel.

The Leader revealed in March that a consultation had been launched regarding plans to turn the 37-bedroom hotel into emergency accommodation for asylum seekers over a seven-year period. 

If given the go-ahead, the hotel would become home to 400 single, male asylum seekers.

Approximately 250 people would be accommodated in the modular temporary units which would be removed from site at the end of the period. Some 150 would be accommodated within the existing building. Use of the site as a hotel would resume at the end of the temporary permission.  

Northop Hall is home to roughly 1,500 people - meaning its population could rise by over a quarter if the plans go ahead. 

North Wales MS Mark Isherwood raised concerns over the potential rise in people living in the village in the Senedd last week.


Responding to a statement by the social justice minister, Jane Hutt MS, on Refugee Week 2003 (June 19 to June 25) in the Senedd Chamber, Mr Isherwood said: "Responding to you in May, I referred to concerns raised by residents of Northop Hall over plans to house 400 single male asylum seekers in the former Northop Hall Country House Hotel.

"The Chair of Northop Hall Community Council had stated: '400 single males will increase the total population of the village by 25 per cent. I can't believe there will not be a drain on community facilities which are already over extended. With only three bus services in the village daily, people would have nowhere to go’.

"Another resident was “concerned about the impact on the mental health of hundreds of men living in close proximity with each other, unable to work and in an area where ‘there’s nothing here’ ”.

“In your response, you stated that, although the Welsh Government is not responsible 'for the procurement and provision of accommodation for those who are dispersed to Wales', this will have to go through the planning process in Wales, and you were in dialogue with the UK Government regarding the dignity and respect that should be accorded to asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution.

The Leader:

PIC: North Wales MS Mark Isherwood who has again raised the matter of the Northop Hall plans in the Senedd.

“Later this month, at their request, I'll be meeting the Northop Hall Village Action Group, for them to brief me on what is being proposed for their village, on their concerns about inadequate infrastructure and that this is the wrong place for asylum seekers to be placed while they're being screened. So, what message would you like me to give them regarding your engagement with this, as the Minister here?”

In her response, the Minister stated: “I think it's really important we don't comment on specific sites proposed for asylum accommodation” and “we won't comment on matters relating to planning”.