Councils in Yorkshire and Ipswich lose legal battle to stop hotels from housing asylum seekers

Two councils have lost a High Court battle to prevent hotels from housing asylum seekers.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council asked the High Court to continue an interim injunction preventing migrants from being housed at the Humber View hotel in Hull.

This was granted after it was contacted by the Home Office with a proposal to use the site.

Ipswich Borough Council also asked for an interim injunction to be extended to stop further asylum seekers being placed at the four-star Novotel Hotel in Ipswich city centre, where 72 people are already being housed.

Earlier this month, lawyers for the council argued 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.

They argued the interim court orders could be extended by four to six weeks ahead of a final hearing on the issues in the cases.

However, on Friday afternoon, a judge refused to extend the injunctions, saying it is the "statutory duty" of the Home Office to provide accommodation to asylum seekers "who would otherwise be homeless".

'The supply is limited'

"The continuation of the injunction would also cause other important harm in each case," Mr Justice Holgate said.

"The asylum seekers who would be accommodated at these two hotels are entitled to have their claims for asylum dealt with.

"Some will be successful. Some will not. It is not disputed that the merits of those claims are of no relevance in these proceedings."

Read more:
Channel crossings reach record high for single day
Where do US migrants come from and how do they get there?
Teen boy allegedly raped at hotel housing refugees

The judge continued: "In reality, if either or both of the injunctions were to be continued, the Home Office would have to look for accommodation elsewhere.

"It is clear from the evidence that it is difficult to secure hotels suitable for single-use contracts. The supply is limited."

The ruling follows a failed bid by Stoke-on-Trent City Council earlier this month to continue an interim injunction preventing migrants from being housed in the 88-room North Stafford Hotel close to the city's train station.