Asylum seekers to move into EVERY flat in city's 'most sought after' luxury apartment block
Campaigners in a cathedral city have condemned the Government after the Home Office approved the acquisition of an entire luxury apartment complex to house asylum seekers.
Dozens of migrants have already moved into the 98 unit development in Chelmsford, Essex, GB News can reveal.
Locals opposed the scheme and said it was “grossly unfair” to house asylum seekers in plush apartments while hundreds of families were stuck in temporary and sub-standard accommodation.
The multi-million pound conversion of a former office block has been billed as one of Chelmsford's most sought after residential complexes.
Marketing photographs show what appear to be very comfortable high-end living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms.
But for now at least, none of the residential units will be for local use.
Dozens of migrants have already moved in. The refurbishment work on the remaining apartments is almost complete.
Local campaign group Baddow and Sandon Neighbourhood Association said many local people were outraged by the move.
Dave Aldershaw said more than 400 families in Chelmsford were currently in temporary accommodation and often in very poor quality properties, while people who broke the law were being rewarded with luxury apartments.
“The word illegal needs to needs to be remembered,” he said.
“They are illegally here and yet they're living in absolute luxury.
“I think that's what's frustrating and annoying so many people, that they're getting everything and local people are living in some of these places that we see.
“Last year during the damp and mold, you wouldn't have put a dog in it because it was disgusting. It was on another level.
“But here at this apartment complex, these asylum seekers are enjoying luxury living.”
Tasha Burgess moved into similarly low-quality social housing in Chelmsford with her young family five years ago.
But it took four years, before the family was finally moved out while various problems were fixed.
But not before Tasha and her children developed chronic respiratory ailments.
“I don't think it's fair that they can come over illegally and get placed into apartments,” she said.
“We were just crying out for help, to be placed somewhere where my family would be able to live safely.
“You’ve got local people on lists waiting for months, even years for a decent level of accommodation.”
The local council said it had only limited grounds for a legal challenge against the Home Office and did not intend to take court action.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We have been clear that the use of hotels to house asylum seekers is unacceptable. There are currently more than 51,000 asylum seekers in hotels, costing the UK taxpayer £6 million a day.
“We engage with local authorities as early as possible whenever sites are used for asylum accommodation and work to ensure arrangements are safe for hotel residents and local people.
“We are working closely and listen to the local communities’ views and reduce the impact of sites, including through providing onsite security and financial support”
But campaigners say the Chelmsford luxury apartment complex cannot be what the Prime Minister meant when he said the Government was committed to more “basic accommodation” for asylum seekers.