Angry protesters have blocked a road to block access to a luxury hotel where 240 asylum seekers are staying – and police can’t stop the disruption because it’s taking place on a private road.
Residents living near the four-star Strady Park Hotel in Llanelli, South Wales, have erected bollards and metal railings preventing vehicles from entering the only road leading to its front entrance, insisting they do not want it to become a refugee centre.
A landlord across the street withdrew a previous access deal with the hotel in anger after sacking 95 staff to house migrants under a deal with the Home Office to deal with the Channel crisis.
Vehicles carrying workers and coaches with migrants could not reach the hotel due to the road blockade. The migrants were supposed to move into the hotel by July 3.
Supporting the protesters is Reform UK leader Richard Tice, who traveled to South Wales to hear and address their concerns. He told MailOnline: ‘This is a much-loved, community hotel which employs around 100 people. The landowner withdrew consent for the use of the private road and this meant that the government’s plans to use the hotel fell through.
‘The community feels unsafe. They saw what happened elsewhere and they took this action. They won’t let anyone go.’
Barricades set up by locals in South Wales prevented vehicles from entering the only road leading to a four-star hotel hosting 240 asylum seekers.
Protesters outside the four-star Strady Park Hotel in Llanelli, South Wales
The road block of Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli,
Protesters began to blockade the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli after 95 staff were sacked over plans to house 241 asylum seekers.
Mr Tice added: ‘I think we’re going to see more moves like this across the country as people’s tolerance is stretched and stressed. As the abuse of our hospitality becomes apparent, the mood of the nation grows more depressed and angry.
‘We want to be hospitable to genuine refugees but the majority coming across the Channel are economic migrants and come from places where there is no war. The government and judges are completely out of touch with the common people of this country.’
More than 80 residents have set up tents and patrolled barricades across private roads to ensure no vehicles pass through them overnight.
Many of the protesters are hardline local women in their fifties and sixties who fear their tight-knit community is at risk from economic migrants, most of whom they claim are young men.
Supporters are being brought food and drink as the standoff shows no sign of resolution.
Soon after the private road blockade began last week, trying to get around the Home Office faced yet another setback.
Workers began building a temporary route through a hedge, but Cammarthenshire Council issued a temporary stop notice to investigate alleged breaches of planning rules. It will last for 28 days.
In the past the 77-bedroom Strady Park Hotel, which has a luxury spa, has hosted top celebrities and the world’s greatest rugby teams, including the New Zealand All Blacks.
It has ‘stunning views’ of Carmarthen Bay and the Gower Peninsula. Unless it was reserved for asylum seekers, a night in the hotel could cost more than £200.
Protesters fear their tight-knit community will become like Penali, a former army camp 40 miles away, where hundreds of asylum seekers have been held for years.
They claimed the village and the nearby seaside town of Tenby had become a hotbed of sex crimes, arson and stabbings, none of which ended up in court.
Last weekend, clashes broke out between protesters and police in Llanelli, and some angry protesters pelted a security van with animal excrement.
After security was removed from the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli, protesters in Wales stood outside their grounds awaiting further information from the Home Office and the arrival of asylum seekers.
Protesters cheer for safety as they leave the Stradi Park Hotel in Llanelli, South Wales, after a stand-off last week.
The protesters have vowed to continue protesting for as long as it takes
Supporters of the protesters distributed food and drinks on Monday night
Clearsprings Ready Homes Ltd, one of Britain’s largest suppliers of home office accommodation, used horse manure to cover the door handles of a security company’s van.
One protester said: ‘The hotel is part of the history and fabric of the town – people are outraged that this has been foisted on us.
‘I’m not racist, I have some sympathy for asylum seekers but the best hotel for miles around is no place for them.
‘It’s a bit of a siege situation now – we’ll organize and see it through.’
Carmarthenshire County Council has already lost a bid for a High Court injunction to temporarily block plans to use Strady Park to house asylum seekers.
The council claimed it would mean a ‘material change of use from hotel to hostel’ and went against planning regulations.
It said handing over asylum seekers would result in job losses, impact on tourism and reduce the number of hotel beds in the region by 25 per cent.
Lawyers acting for hotel owner Gryphon Leisure Ltd said it was helping asylum seekers with a ‘clear, pressing and urgent need’ for primary accommodation and there was no breach of planning rules.
The court was told that Gryphon director Robert Horwood had warned that without an ‘injection of funds’ from a deal with Clearsprings there was a ‘serious risk of losing use as a hotel in any event’.
The Home Office has been contacted for comment.
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