A CONTROVERSIAL plan to move asylum seekers into a Flintshire hotel has been recommended for refusal by planning officials.

The application, by Payman 3 Holdings Ltd, to move 400 single-male asylum seekers into the Northop Hall Country House Hotel goes before Flintshire Council's planning committee next Wednesday.

If approved, the hotel would become home to asylum seekers over a seven-year period. 

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. The scheme has largely been met with fierce local objection from residents, councillors and politicians

The Leader: The plans have been met with local opposition.The plans have been met with local opposition. (Image: Laura Davis)

A planning report compiled by Flintshire Council planning officers has recommended that planning committee members refuse the application.

The report states: "The development is considered to be inappropriate to the
character of the site and its immediate and wider setting and would significantly alter the character and appearance of the hotel as a Building of Local Interest and disrupt its local distinctiveness as a historic asset. 

"Insufficient information has been submitted to ensure that the physical and social infrastructure exists, or can be provided, to ensure the proposed development can be sustainably accommodated within the community without resulting in significant harm. 

"The overall scale, siting and design of the proposed development will result in a detrimental impact upon the living conditions, amenity and potentially the safety of the adjoining neighbouring residential properties as well as the living conditions of the occupants."


Concerns have also been raised over pedestrian access and the road network, and the volume of traffic and pedestrians. 

Objections to the proposal have been received by the council from Alyn & Deeside Senedd Member, Jack Sargeant, North Wales Senedd Member, Sam Rowlands, and Delyn MP, Rob Roberts. There have also been objections from local councillors Linda Thew and Marion Bateman, as well as Northop Community Council and Hawarden Community Council. 

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it still has "significant concerns" over the application. Natural Resources Wales has also raised concerns - due to "inadequate information" provided by the applicant over flood risk. 

The application will be decided on by Flintshire Council's planning committee at its monthly meeting next Wednesday (September 27).