The government intends to build four new
accommodation centres to hold 3,000 asylum seekers. Each would hold
The accommodation centres would operate an
“open door” policy, with the asylum seekers free to come and go.
They would spend around six months at the centres while their
asylum applications were considered by the Home Office, and while
any appeals against refusal were processed. This means around 1,500
asylum seekers would pass through each new centre every year.
The new centres are part of home secretary
David Blunkett’s plans to shake up the asylum system, replace the
much-criticised voucher scheme and reduce “disappearances”.
A Home Office spokeswoman said that those
prepared to live in the centres would get good accommodation, food,
health care, education and support services, especially for
families. Those who refused would get no state support, she
So far eight potential sites have been
identified. The Home Office expects other potential sites to be put
forward when a lengthy consultation process is started.