AN "URGENT meeting" will take place regarding the possible rehoming of asylum seekers at a former Llandudno Junction education centre.

Robin Millar MP made a statement this morning (March 24) said the asylum seekers' attendance at Marle Hall Centre for Outdoor Learning has not been confirmed to him.

He has sought clarity on the situation from Robert Jenrick, immigration minister.

Janet Finch-Saunders, Aberconwy MS, has sent a formal letter to Mr Jenrick after being notified via email on March 22 that the Home Office has identified Marle Hall as a site to accommodate as many as 111 asylum seekers.

Conwy County Borough Council is also to meet with the Home Office on Monday (March 27) to discuss the matter.


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It follows the housing of more than 80 asylum seekers at the Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia, in Dolgarrog, last November.

In a statement, Mr Millar said: “There were rumours circulating last night (March 23) that asylum seekers were arriving in Marle Hall, Llandudno Junction.

“This has NOT been confirmed as of this morning.

“I contacted the immigration minister immediately last night to seek urgent clarification on what is happening.”

A Conwy County Borough Council spokesperson said: "The chief executive met with Robin Millar MP yesterday, and local members and the council leader have been informed.

"The council and all our partner agencies (through Welsh Local Government Association) have arranged an urgent meeting on Monday with Home Office, where we will seek clarity on what is being considered.

"We have extremely limited information at present, and we have not been informed that any final decision has been made by the Home Office."

Mr Millar called for the asylum seekers at the Hilton hotel to be re-housed as soon as possible following their arrival late last year.

Similarly, he said he has “strong concerns about the suitability” for asylum seekers of Marle Hall, which closed to the public in 2021.

It was built in the 17th Century by Sir Hugh Williams, 5th Baronet of the Williams Baronetcy of Penrhyn.

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He added: “I expressed my strong concerns about the suitability of the site and their selection process.

“I have spoken with public service leaders and we are clear from the lessons learned in Dolgarrog that we, again, have real concerns that this is the wrong kind of facility, in the wrong place, and will bring a huge burden on our local public services.

“This is not good for the community or the wellbeing of residents of the facility.

“There is supposed to be a proper process to follow before any new facility is opened.

“Myself as MP, the council, other public services, the police and the health board should all be consulted formally before the facility is opened.”

Conwy County Borough Council leader, Cllr Charlie McCoubrey, said in November that the local authority was given no advance warning of the asylum seekers’ arrival at Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia.

Mr Millar added: “No-one should be placed in the facility until its suitability had been agreed. And no decision is made until the proper consultation is completed.

“When the hotel in Dolgarrog was used as temporary overflow accommodation for asylum seekers, our public services worked very well together in coordinating their responses to care for those there.

“That is the right thing to do. Local residents were also generous with support for those who stayed.

“However, the Home Office agreed that the facility was inappropriate. It was closed after three months and the site was returned to its use as a hotel.

“This time we did receive a notification from the Home Office (Wednesday) and I notified the police and council to make sure they were aware of the proposal.

“I had a meeting with the chief executive of the council yesterday (Thursday) and he confirmed his officers were ready to meet with Home Office officials to set out our concerns about the suitability of the site and capacity of public services.

“We agreed to notify local councillors at that time, also. I will continue to press for clarity on what is being proposed and when.

“I have demanded that the proper consultation process is used for Marle Hall.”

Mrs Finch-Saunders added: “I believe that it is reasonable to suggest that, should the Home Office and the owners of Marl Hall pursue use of the venue by asylum seekers, there may be a breach of planning.

“Marl Hall was owned by Warwickshire County Council between 1971 and 2022, and operated as an outdoor learning centre.

"Whilst I do not know for certain the specific planning use class allocated to the property, given that it was an outdoor learning centre, I suspect that it may be classified as C2 residential institutions - residential care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, boarding schools, residential colleges and training centres. 

"Arguably, should the venue be used to accommodate asylum seekers, it would require a planning application for change of use to either ‘C2A secure residential institution’ or ‘hostel’.

“Alongside my concern about planning law, there is no denying that it is a completely inappropriate venue. It is situated in the countryside between the A470 and Marl Hall Woods.

“I am not aware of a bus service that stops near the entrance of the property, meaning, yet again, the Home Office is planning on placing vulnerable individuals in an isolated corner of Aberconwy.

“There could also be a negative impact on our tourism sector, as was highlighted to me several times when the Hilton Garden Inn was being used in Dolgarrog.

“Finally, our local GP practices are already overwhelmed, with residents struggling to make appointments, so I do not believe that our local NHS can cope with any further demand."