We have been made aware of plans that a third asylum seeker hotel is to be opened in Torbay – this will be a second one for Torquay. This information was not received, in the first instance, from the Home Office or from their contractors Clearsprings Ready Homes.

As a result of this, we issued a second pre-proceedings letter to the Home Office through our solicitors. The letter requested that a third hotel is not brought into operation until the Home Office responds and we have had the opportunity to consider their response.

The Home Office have responded to both pre-proceedings letters and discussions were held on Monday on the potential next steps. These will be that we will not apply for an interim injunction against the use of hotels to accommodate asylum seekers but will instead issue instructions to seek a Judicial Review of the decision of the Home Secretary to use the hotels in Torquay as accommodation for asylum seekers on three grounds. These are:  

  1. The council had a legitimate expectation from the Home Office that no further hotels would be used in the Torbay area
  2. The Home Office failed to consider the planning position, in particular the location of the hotel(s) within a Core Tourism Investment Area
  3. The Home Office failed to consider the significant impact on Children’s Services caused by the use of the existing hotel for accommodating asylum seekers 

Kevin Mowat, Deputy Chief Executive at Torbay Council, said: “On the morning of 15 November, we received confirmation from Clearsprings Ready Homes that due diligence on a third hotel had been completed and that they proposed to go live with it today. We have since had notification that the use of the hotel is being paused whilst a decision of the Home Office is awaited.

“We are continuing to work with Clearsprings Ready Homes and their managers within the two hotels in operation to ensure appropriate support is in place for those currently staying at the hotels. We will also continue to ask questions and to inform the Home Office about the impact that these hotels are having on our services and the Bay.”  

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