The Home Office has notified us that it intends to use a block of apartments on the outskirts of Farnborough town centre to provide temporary accommodation for families seeking asylum in the UK.
The council has raised concerns with the Home Office about the plans, including the potential impact on local services, but the Home Office has confirmed that the facility will open from later this month.
We understand that most will be families with children, who will live there while the Home Office decides on their asylum applications. They are likely to come from a number of different countries.
The Home Office has told us that the building, which has 113 self-contained flats and currently unoccupied, will provide temporary family housing for up to 346 people at a time.
The facility will be managed by the Home Office’s contractor, Clearsprings Ready Homes, who will provide on-site services and security.
In response to the Home Office’s confirmation of its intentions, we are looking at what we may need to do locally and what our responsibilities are.
As part of that, we are working closely with other public sector organisations, including the county council, health and police, to make sure the right support and services are available, and we have been liaising with local neighbours to understand any initial concerns they may have.
We will also continue to work constructively with the Home Office and to make sure that it lives up to its responsibilities to its tenants, but also to the wider local community.
Council Leader Councillor Gareth Lyon said: “We have made representations to the Home Office both as directly and indirectly through our MP, Leo Docherty. The Home Office has decided to proceed despite these representations. The council will now work with the Home Office and partners to do its best to ensure that the needs of residents, both local people and those living at the site, are met.”
We are waiting for further information from the Home Office and once we have that, we will share it on our website.
Residents who have queries about the proposals can contact the Home Office by email at email@example.com or phone to 020 7035 4848.
Further information about claiming asylum in the UK is available on the government's website. There is also further information about the support available for people seeking asylum.