Pontins Southport asylum seekers accommodation plan ditched by Home Office

The Home Office was considering converting the coastal holiday park into temporary housing for upto 3,000 asylum seekers.

The government has abandoned plans to use Southport Pontins to house asylum seekers, Sefton Council has said.

The Home Office was considering converting the coastal holiday park, which can accommodate more than 3,000 people, into temporary housing for asylum seekers waiting for their claims to be assessed.

The plans for the were opposed by Sefton Council and Southport MP Damien Moore amid fears it would impact on local tourism and over issues regarding access the Ainsdale site.

A spokesperson for the local authority told the BBC: "We have now been informed that the Home Office no longer wishes to pursue plans to house Asylum Seekers at the Pontins site in Ainsdale. We are awaiting written confirmation of this decision.”

Conservative MP Mr Moore, described the Pontins proposal as "completely inappropriate" and said it would put further strain on local children’s services already rated "inadequate" by Ofsted.

The Home Office is seeking to find alternatives to expensive hotel accommodation, which they say is costing £6.8m a day. There is also a growing backlog in processing assessments and the number of people seeking asylum is increasing.

The refugee council say the asylum backlog has quadrupled in the last five years – from  29,522 in December 2017 to 122,206 In June last year.