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Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden has issued a statement regarding reports on the potential future use of the Dilkhusa Grand Hotel in Ilfracombe.

Councillor Worden says: "North Devon Council recently received formal notification from the Home Office of the potential use of the Dilkhusa Grand Hotel, Ilfracombe as a contingency hotel to accommodate people who have arrived in the UK seeking protection (asylum seekers).

"We wrote to the Home Office and to Clearsprings Ready Homes, the Home Office accommodation provider, raising significant concerns over the process and the suitability of Ilfracombe for this type of accommodation. Ilfracombe is very remote from any support services and the loss of an operating hotel would have significant impacts on the local economy.   

"North Devon MP, Selaine Saxby, raised similar concerns with Ministers and the Home Office directly and asked for an urgent and detailed consultation with North Devon Council.

"A multi-agency forum was subsequently held with the Home Office on Friday 7 October 2022 at which we, and other agencies, repeated those concerns. Today (Thursday 13 October 2022) we were informed that a decision had been made not to progress the hotel as asylum contingency accommodation.

"We believe the decision made in relation to the Dilkusa Grand Hotel is the right one and supports our shared desire to develop and support the town. We are grateful to the Home Office for the opportunity which gave local stakeholders a voice to influence this important decision.

"We understand the critical need to increase housing capacity across the country to accommodate people who are seeking help in the UK. We will work proactively with the Government to assist in meeting this need."