North Northamptonshire becomes sixth council to take legal action to stop asylum seekers being housed in a hotel

The authority applied to the High Court for an emergency injunction and is considering its next steps after this was dismissed.

Published

A sixth local authority is taking legal action to stop the Government using a hotel to house asylum seekers.

North Northamptonshire Council wants to prevent migrants being accommodated at the Royal Hotel in Kettering.

The authority applied to the High Court for an emergency injunction and is considering its next steps after this was dismissed.

Council leader Jason Smithers said: “We do not feel that the Royal Hotel in Kettering is the appropriate place to accommodate asylum seekers for a number of reasons.

“We do not feel the proposals have been properly considered to ensure the best possible welfare can be provided to asylum seekers and the local communities in which they are housed.

“We are now considering our options in light of the injunction’s dismissal by the High Court.”

The council said the proposal for migrants to be housed at the hotel was brought to its attention on October 27.

It said it was provided with further details including a “mobilisation date, a day before the date of mobilisation”.

Rishi Sunak said Suella Braverman is focused on reducing the number of migrants coming to the UK illegally.
Rishi Sunak said Suella Braverman is focused on reducing the number of migrants coming to the UK illegally.

A spokesman said: “Emergency injunction applications are considered by the court without notice to the defendants and without the ability for them to make representations until a later date.

“The court determined that they did not want to consider the application on this basis and that all parties should instead be given an opportunity to be heard at the outset.

“The application was therefore dismissed on this basis; the merits of the application were not considered.

“The council is considering whether it should make a further application for an injunction on notice and is awaiting the outcomes of other local authorities who have also taken legal action.

“It is also continuing to try and seek further confirmation from the Home Office’s contractor on key information which will help the council to support the housing of asylum seekers in suitable accommodation in North Northamptonshire.”

The authority applied to the High Court for an emergency injunction and is considering its next steps after this was dismissed.
The authority applied to the High Court for an emergency injunction and is considering its next steps after this was dismissed.

Five other local authorities are also taking legal action: East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Stoke City Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and Fenland District Council.

Two of the local authorities – East Riding of Yorkshire and Ipswich Borough – argued their case at a High Court hearing on Tuesday.

It was said on their behalf that there had been an “unauthorised material change of use” under planning rules through the Home Office’s attempts to book accommodation in Hull and Ipswich for asylum seekers, and advocates asked for previously granted injunctions to be extended.

But lawyers representing one of the hotel companies told the court that the Government is currently paying for empty rooms at its property because of the legal action.

The judge said he hopes to give his decision on the councils’ applications later this week.