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No asylum plans for hall

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THE JOURNAL (Newcastle, UK)

January 23, 2003, Thursday

The owner of Otterburn Hall in Northumberland said last night there were no plans to use it as a holding centre for newly-arrived asylum seekers. Speculation over the future of the isolated country hotel and conference centre has been re-ignited by reports that hostels, hotels and large houses are to be used to accommodate asylum seekers. Last year people in Otterburn voiced strong protests against moves to use the former YMCA-owned hall to house up to 250 asylum seekers. In May last year Otterburn Hall was taken over by London property company The Angel Group, which accommodates refugees and asylum seekers, and work started on refurbishing it. Angel Group facilities director Jim Vaughan said yesterday: “Otterburn Hall is a hotel, it is currently operating as a hotel and will continue to do so. There is still refurbishment work going on there but it is being used by guests. We have got all sorts of visions to improve it but there are no plans to use it as a centre for asylum seekers.” George Moore, owner of the Border Reiver shop in Otterburn, said: “Local people are still waiting to see exactly what will happen with Otterburn Hall … but it is all just speculation and rumour at the moment.” Ministers have ordered a review of plans for housing newly-arrived asylum seekers after protests from people living near two of the proposed induction centres in Kent and Lincolnshire.

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Written by Concerned

January 23, 2003 at 11:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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