Controversy as Home Office propose moving nearly 400 asylum seekers into new flats in Harlow Town Centre

News / Fri 10th Mar 2023 at 06:11pm

THE HOME Office are considering moving up to 400 asylum seekers into a brand new housing development in Harlow reports the BBC.

YH understands that Harlow Council has been approached regarding the plan.

At this point it is unclear whether this is part of recent plans unveiled by the prime minister Rishi Sunak under his pledge to “Stop The Boats”.

As part of those plans, the government was looking at housing asylum seekers at RAF bases outside Braintree.

This proposal appears to be to move asylum seekers in brand new privately owned state of the art flats earmarked/promoted as part of the town centres regeneration agenda.

A spokesperson for Harlow Council said: “We were made aware by the Home Office at the end of last week that they were considering using new housing in Wych Elm. We understand that nothing has been agreed by the Home Office yet and this is part of them considering options and sites to support asylum seekers. 

“Harlow is a welcoming town, but we have serious concerns about the impact such a move of hundreds of people with a range of needs would have on local housing provision and services such as health and education and whether there would be adequate specialist support and funding to help people. Meeting the housing needs of Harlow residents is also a high priority for Harlow Council. Ultimately this would not be Harlow Council’s decision, but we are actively making our feelings and concerns known to the Home Office. 

“There needs to be joined up approach across the country where councils and the Home Office work together to find effective solutions. For example, the work which has taken place in recent years where councils have supported a small number of Ukrainian families and Afghan and Syrian refugees to integrate into our communities as part of national resettlement programmes.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

64 Comments for Controversy as Home Office propose moving nearly 400 asylum seekers into new flats in Harlow Town Centre:

Moaning murtle
2023-03-10 18:19:32

You have got to be joking!!!!!!!

2023-03-10 18:27:49

No thanks, our own kids can't afford properties or get a council place, yet they give them to God know who.....that will really deter the people on the dingies knowing they will get a new state of the art flat all paid for. Absolute disgrace I hope Harlow council says no.

2023-03-10 18:28:39

Surely this is not real?is this a wind up?

Gary lineker
2023-03-10 18:41:32

Tory Britain for you. 13 years in power and this.

2023-03-10 18:46:35

This is fantastic news!! These hardoworking asylum seekers deserve this more than the lazy moaning bits! Let them jump to the front of the NHS queues and school placements aswell!

Ian Wright
2023-03-10 18:52:46

I’m with ya Gary✊

2023-03-10 19:11:54

Its a joke !!!???

Harlow Tourist Board
2023-03-10 19:23:09

Signposts to Harlow being put up in Calais as we speak.

Alan Shearer
2023-03-10 19:29:31

Refugees welcome Nazi’s not so much

2023-03-10 19:43:22

I think they should also be given a new car each free shopping and £1000 a week to spend on whatever they want

French Kanu
2023-03-10 20:08:56

Let's be honest most refugees will take one look at the town centre and will be on the first pedalo back to France.

2023-03-10 20:12:14

So what say if any do local residents have about this? Because if you put this to a poll you can guarantee the vast majority of people in Harlow would oppose it. Do we have no rights at all?

2023-03-10 20:36:08

As a local resident, I welcome any and all refugees to Harlow. Unlike the narrow minded racist bigots, I recognize that due to the restrictive immigration laws, these refugees cannot work, cannot pay their own way and therefore need to live somewhere. As for giving them each a new car & £1000 a week, that would be far, far cheaper than the bonkers Rwanda plan. £120M + £20k to £30k each for a mere 200 refugees. £620K or more each. Far, far cheaper to house them in Harlow, far, far better value for the taxpayer. So the few refugees that the UK takes in comparison with most other countries are, or should be, welcome here. You (Harlow) voted for Brexit, this is what "taking control of our borders" looks like. We no longer have any agreements to return refugees because we lost the Dublin Agreement. You (Harlow) voted for this. Now take responsibility for your actions and welcome the refugees that cannot be sent back to a safe country.

David Forman
2023-03-10 21:22:04

People should ask themselves why the government paying people very well to house Ukrainians and allow them to work was okay - they are white skinned - but not the same for brown and black skinned refugees? The answer is the Tories want to hang on to power by sowing social division and providing a hostile environment for refugees that feeds far right extremists. The Conservatives take large donations from property developers and in turn don't make a fuss about land banking that restricts building plots and facilitates the drip feed supply of housing to maximize profits. The Tories have presided over a woefully inefficient asylum system and that is why their is a huge backlog of applications. Attempts to build on reception centres on former MOD sites has been thwarted by Tory council's making excuses in just the same way as they do for Travellers. The one group of people that need to be stopped are the Conservatives. Don't let them use racism to hang on to power.

NO NO NO!!!!
2023-03-10 21:23:58

Well jd, as a local resident who was born in pah harlow in the 60,s i DONT welcome refugees to harlow. This once lovely town has been ruined and no matter how many new homes they keep building they will never ever make this town into the thriving beautiful town it once was. Harlow has become a dumping ground for anyone from anywhere to come and live here and it is truly heartbreaking to see what my home town has been turned into.I am not sure if this story is even true,but if it is a joke, it is not a funny one.

2023-03-10 21:32:35

JD it is precisely why people voted for brexit because of your views. Imagine you are a local resident who dreams / needs a home but have to watch as the homes they deserve and have been told are being built to help home them are given to immigrants , many of them over for economic reasons rather than political reasons . The town cannot does not have the facilities to house to these people just to ease your concence, have you been to A&E lately?. This decision if it goes ahead will only fuel the fire.

2023-03-10 21:53:37

"JD it is precisely why people voted for brexit because of your views." No, people voted for Brexit to give £350M a week to the NHS, remember? It was on the side of a bus, so it must have been true. As for A & E, don't blame immigrants for failing to fund the NHS, that is purely down to 13 years of Tory government. As for people who had dreams for a home and seeing them "given" to immigrants, any bad feelings are exactly what this Tory government want. This government wants to stoke up hatred and division as a distraction away from the cost of living crisis, PartyGate, etc. Think "giving" home to immigrants is bad? What about the billions that were wasted on fake PPE contracts given to Tory party donors. £4B of useless PPE could have paid for a new hospital for Harlow. But let's forget about that and get all worked up over fictional people who may or may not get a home because of "immigrants".

Nicholas Taylor
2023-03-10 21:56:34

We are told that all the thousands of homes that are to be built in and around Harlow are needed for local demand, indeed the flats in this block have been advertised for sale for many months. Are we now to assume that in fact not many people have put down a deposit to buy one and so the developers are prepared to listen to the governments offer to pay for them to house asylum seekers? And what of the hundreds of other flats under construction in the town, if there is no demand for them will they in turn be used for asylum seekers? If I was a Harlow resident living in one of Harlow Council's temporary accommodation because I had become homeless, I would be hopping mad that I have not be offered a luxurious new flat.

2023-03-10 22:05:53

If this is true, how do you think the locals on the social housing waiting list will feel. None of the NIMBYs want them in their villages so towns like ours are forced to take them.

me me me
2023-03-10 22:20:35

imagine living in a country where your children arent safe! good luck to these people and their families we should welcome all and help people your all evil who put these poor people down dont you think everyone should be equal and safe we are lucky to have council houses benifits and a safe country for our children you dont know what these people have been through and they deserve happiness and safety as soon as possible

2023-03-10 23:51:52

We are not responsible for the World. We already have London boroughs dumping their undesirables in Terminus House causing more crime and anti-social behaviour in the Town Centre. This will be a disaster. It must be resisted by all decent Harlow residents.

2023-03-11 01:41:35

Absolute effing joke, it's the last thing this already run down dilapidated poor excuse for a town needs.

Me myself and i
2023-03-11 02:14:06

Me me me, no we are not evil at all, we are over populated as it is, so we dont want another 400 outsiders coming into harlow, its become a dumping ground for everyone. Our quality of life is affected massively because our doctors waiting times are so much longer and hospital waiting times are much longer and we all know that the nhs is already struggling, also i could list so many more negatives but i cant be bothered because we dont seem to get listened to. Yea we all deserve a decent quality of life but we cant keep helping everyone,wedont have the space or resources and enough is enough.

2023-03-11 02:27:36

What the f , hospital workers get kicked out of there block , and then this , f harlow Council

2023-03-11 07:58:22

The government should try and make a deal with Albania and Romania to put refugees in hotels there it would be much cheaper, there should be plenty of room because they are all over here.

2023-03-11 08:00:40

Emma, it is not Harlow Council not our MP. They both oppose this as much as you. It is the Home Office are trying to dump these people here. We have to make a stand and say ‘No! We can’t take them. We won’t take them’. These people are illegals. Stop letting them in and send them back.

Harlow can you go.
2023-03-11 08:12:54

Harlow is finished it's well and truly done. Crack dealer's freely dealing in the town centre, People living in office blocks making people millions. A hospital that' makes the news weekly because its so bad. No employers that pay over minimum wage. Roads that are falling apart. Everything it had is gone.How do you think all the local homeless people will feel about this.If Sir Frederick Gibberd could have seen what's happening now he would not of bothered.

2023-03-11 08:18:00

JD . Will your views be the same when God forbid , you or one of your family get mugged whilst out and about. As has happened in Germany. As I said people with views like yours will have blood on their hands .

Moimoi is a waste off space!
2023-03-11 08:42:56

Moimoi we're let you look after these wastes off space then when the people off harlow and kicked their heads in. I suggest you leave harlow Moimoi because you and those pathetic wastes off space are not welcome in harlow.

2023-03-11 08:43:31

Me me me . If the countries they come from are so dangerous, why are they leaving their wife and kids back there.?

old harlow vigilante
2023-03-11 08:46:04

taking the fcuking piss .

2023-03-11 09:00:14

I was being ironic! We should NOT let these people jump any queues or even let them over here! We are not resposible for any of the worlds immigrants....let's look after our own homeless and struggling families!

2023-03-11 09:17:20

You have got to be joking! Our kids can't get a council placce/can't afford to get a place because of the cost of living. Lived here all our lives. This will be another nail in its coffin

2023-03-11 09:28:43

Import the third world, become the third world.

Julia Long
2023-03-11 09:30:31

We don’t need any more refugees in Harlow, we seem to be the dumping ground for all the people other counties don’t want. Give us a break, it’s bad enough that there isn’t enough houses for our children who have been born and breed in Harlow.

2023-03-11 09:39:09

We should accept women and children and the elderly as refugees. Young men of fighting age should be trained and armed and sent back to fight . Sounds harsh? It is more or less the policy we are using for Ukraine. I wonder how many of the proposed refugees coming to Harlow will be women and children. Maybe I am an old codger, but back in the day young men fleeing conflict zones were either cowards or deserters.

2023-03-11 09:48:05

Hggt pfp will soon have 10000 much better homes to offer at Gilston. No one here will be able to afford them, so the Councils, especially East Herts, could offer them. The Gilston Estate development has just been granted planning permission. None of the tall buildings of flats in the town cente should never be built, no one should be forced to live in them: Harlow was designed to be low rise social housing with 99 % homes to have gardens.

2023-03-11 09:54:45

I guess you’ll turn the Gilston plot over to them as well as soon as it’s built.

2023-03-11 11:03:05

Shall I send my Son and family to France, shred their passports, claim to be a refugee. Come back and get the house they have been on the waiting list for ever. 5000 on the waiting list, is this number dismissed as just the way it is these days. Local democracy only applies when it suits big brother Westminster.

Mark M
2023-03-11 11:11:05

Nothing surprises me anymore with this country. Give everything to these people because if you are English you get nothing. Very sad times. If there was a war the English would have to go and fight but if you are a none English person you won't have to

2023-03-11 12:34:38

words foul me,cant say what i want to say,shame really how this country has got and how harlow as gone down hill,we are now like a 3rd world country,we just seem to be a laughing stock

Ian wright
2023-03-11 14:51:38

They can have my job on the BBC Gary’s said he has plenty of spars room

What goes around
2023-03-11 15:38:22

So when is effects you personally you're up in arms lol. Whilst you all sat by in 2020 and let the government take your freedom without any push back. This is what you get. Reap what you sow

Declan G
2023-03-11 16:18:54

What kind of Tory plot is this? Turn asylum seekers into figures of of hate then incarcerate them into a single enclosure in the town centre, raising an instant grievance against them from locals (see above!) as if they are the problem… Then of course castigate football commentators for suggesting they’re fomenting xenophobia. This can’t go ahead - it’s obviously a twisted fantasy. But even in suggesting it they make the lives of current refugees in our town just a little less safe by unleashing this venom.

2023-03-11 18:12:18

Declan G, Are you deluded? What planet are you on? We have our own people’s housing needs. Our own people come first. Not bogus asylum seekers. They should stay and fight for their own countries as our forebears did in two world wars!!!

2023-03-11 19:27:53

If I read correct this is not a for gone conclusion and as the article reads Harlow Council have been approached! So with this in mind if Harlow Council wish to keep their seats then they would refuse the request! Its not rocket science! but then just maybe all the seats being vacated at the council perhaps they knew all along this was coming!!!

Just saying
2023-03-11 21:49:38

Well the people who own these flats also own the chemist in Wych Elm. Prakash and Smeita of Prisma Developments. Fun fact

John Conyard
2023-03-11 23:35:38

My family has lived in Great Parndon/Harlow, for more than 400 years, and I know all of my family and local history, well almost all of it. And I have to say that my descendants would never have foreseen the utter disgrace that governments have made of OUR town. My family have always been grafters here, working on the lands on various Harlow farms, to factories and construction. Everyone once took pride in everything, now most of that pride is gone as there are so many that do not think they have to earn a living. The character and heart of hundreds of years of enjoying our communities is totally wrecked. Nobody gives a #### these days. When you have a government that despises it’s own people in favour of every Tom, Dick and Foreign Harry, it’s beyond belief. Our children, grandchildren, and family to come, have no chance of getting on in life in this destroyed town. This was a beautiful place, now it’s riddled with crime, with no police presence, infrastructure that is falling apart, doctors surgeries in special measures as they won’t care for people. Every spare area is concreted on, mostly for private housing. Former workplace buildings have been adapted to take London overspill and so called asylum seekers. Women can’t walk around during the day, let alone at night, when so many illegals etc are loitering around, if not thieving and begging, they intimidate the women/girls. And it’s going to get even worse here. It’s time people said enough is enough, and took our town back.

2023-03-12 06:30:38

All the comments here have merits but why are most of you angry with refugees. It’s not their fault that life handed them a bad card. Listen British foreign policy benefited the British government over 75 years from the backs of African, Carabian’s and Arabs. Look at Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan etc. no one seems to care why we get involved abroad. Our greed to sell weapons to foreign nations and dictators made these people flee. Yes it’s our fault and our problem too that’s why the government can’t refuse most asylum seekers. Guilt Is a serious feeling

2023-03-12 07:43:39

Those poor defenseless souls are beyond saving. I refer to the good people of Harlow.

2023-03-12 08:54:19

This is an affront to the people of Harlow and to all those migrants who have gone through the proper process to reside here legally. We must not condone illegality. No Albanians can qualify as asylum seekers. Their country is a democracy, it is not at war and nobody suffers persecution. In fact it has applied to join the EU. These are nothing more than illegal economic migrants who should be instantly deported. They have no grounds whatsoever to be here. If such projects as this go ahead, we are just being complicit with the people traffickers. It must be stopped.

2023-03-12 09:02:20

Is this a joke? Children born in this town to parents that have lived and worked all their lives can not get property in this town. This government is on a suicide mission to ever get elected again. We have Robert Halfon saying what a lovely job he has made of this town,😠 It has been ruined, thankfully I am the age I am because I wouldn't want to see it in 30 years time.😠😠

2023-03-12 09:04:34

Is this a joke? Children born in this town to parents that have lived and worked all their lives can not get property in this town. This government is on a suicide mission to ever get elected again. We have Robert Halfon saying what a lovely job he has made of this town,😠 It has been ruined, thankfully I am the age I am because I wouldn't want to see it in 30 years time.😠😠 I feel sorry for my grandchildren.

2023-03-12 09:19:08

Jim we are entitled to our views and opinions, a majority of us dont want anymore people here from outside because we are over populated here as it is and we are entitled to a decent quality of life. Huge waiting times for docs and hospital appointments etc and there will be nowhere to move in harlow at this rate,so many new builds all the time. Harlow is ruined forever.

2023-03-12 11:19:24

Pretty simple choice: Tents in Calais or brand new apartments or 4 star hotels and full benefits in the UK all costing the UK taxpayers £ billions. What would you choose?

2023-03-12 11:23:02

Well this sucks!

2023-03-12 12:53:16

Get Gary Linekar involved he likes them all over here, he gets paid enough he should fork out

2023-03-12 15:23:33

Some people on here are saying we shouldn't be demonizing the asylum seekers, most of us blame our inept gov who couldn't have a p up in a brewery.

Robert Johnson
2023-03-12 15:47:52

Very interesting comments… One question.. really hoping all that posted will comment… Who in the comments chose where they was born?

2023-03-12 16:10:02

RJ . Stupid question, but obviously no one did , just as they also did not in 1939.

2023-03-12 23:51:41

Ah the land of milk and honey keeps provided, and those that object will be labeled as "Far Right" whilst those on the left are unable to say how many is enough or how it will be paid for

Realist of Harlow Town
2023-03-13 08:35:34

This country is a joke and so are Harlow council if this actually happens. Being shafted left right and centre! All we hear is cost of living crisis, food shortages and now this.....Let's add a load of spongers to the mix, yeah i said it and if anyone like JD or me me me want to pipe up go for it. You think if the shoe was on the other foot and we was seeking refuge in a "safe" country do you honestly think we would be welcomed, given a home, car, food and whatever we needed/wanted. NO WE WOULDNT! Makes my blood boil, i was lucky to be able to get myself on the property ladder and a half decent living, however i do not hold any belief my children will be able to with our current government policies. Not only that but how safe will it be for our kids to go out.....these refugees have very little moral compass, not all granted but statistics show a high level of refugees are to blame for crimes in this country. I know you lefties will read this and label me a racist but i prefer the term realist! Get off your high horses and read the room, we as a town and country have no responsibility for these people but we do have responsibility for our own! Military personnel that have for some reason decided to serve this dive of a country living on the streets with nothing after risking theirs lives but we can give the world to people that have illegally come to this country for a hand out! I bet the greatest generation are rolling in their graves!

2023-03-13 10:22:20

The Local elections are coming up in May I would suggest that when prospective candidates knock on your door asking for your vote that you ask them exactly what their policy would be on this issue, they need to remember Elected by the People to SERVE the People.

Common sense
2023-03-13 14:39:08

Realist of Harlow Town, your comments are insane, out of order and based on right wing rhetoric. Look at the problems in this town at the moment, they’re not caused by refugees with ‘no moral compass’. It’s not refugees stabbing each other or giving each other brain damage by attacking each other in the streets.