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Asylum seeker base plans for Ladesfield Care Home in Whitstable

By Dan Wright

Plans have emerged to house asylum seekers in a disused Whitstable care home as the migrant crisis takes hold across the Channel.

Officials at Kent County Council are working on a temporary arrangement to put up unaccompanied minors in the former Ladesfield Care Home in Vulcan Close.

It is believed the home, which closed in 2011 and is close to Joy Lane Primary School, would house migrants under 18 years of age, but some homeowners in the area have criticised the plans.

The former Ladesfield care home could be turned into a home for unaccompanied migrants

Kent County Council spokesman Ione Gyamfi says the authority cannot comment as “discussions for a temporary arrangement are still ongoing”.

But Tankerton Cllr Neil Baker (Con), who is not a Kent county councillor, says he thinks the rumours about the plans - which started on social media - are true.

"If we can’t afford to use it as a care home for English people why are we giving it to the foreign nationals?" - Graham Rowland

He said: “I have no idea officially but the strong rumour is of it being used for unaccompanied migrants, under 18s.

“It seems it probably is true – a lot of people have mentioned it independently.”

Graham Rowland, who has lived in the Vulcan Close cul-de-sac since 1988, said: “I don’t like the idea at all.

"If we can’t afford to use it as a care home for English people why are we giving it to the foreign nationals?

“Who is monitoring it? It’s at the end of the road and we have got a junior school behind it.”

Despite criticism of the proposal from neighbours, retired vicar Donald Lugg, who has lived in Vulcan Close for 22 years, welcomed the plans.

The 83-year-old said: “I guess they have got to live somewhere the poor things.

“It’s just a shame the place is empty – they have either got to pull it down or make use of it.

The home closed in 2011

“I think we have got to do something about the immigrants. I think every town should take its portion of immigrants of all ages.

"I am not opposed to it.

“It’s much better here than it is in their own country where they are being persecuted and suffering all sorts of hardship.

“I think it’s a good thing that we are doing something about it.”

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