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First people arrive at Napier Barracks in Sandgate which has been converted to house asylum seekers


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People have begun arriving at a military barracks that is being used to house asylum seekers.

The first of up to 400 people were seen arriving at Napier Barracks in Folkestone, this evening.

Napier Barracks in Folkestone. Picture: (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Napier Barracks in Folkestone. Picture: (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The arrivals are believed to be people who may have crossed the Channel aboard small boats.

Some were observed travelling in a taxi as they approached the makeshift accommodation.

Earlier today, people were seen unloading electrical equipment including vacuum cleaners and TV screens at the MoD site.

Police officers were shown around the barracks this afternoon.

Napier Barracks, one of several at the Shorncliffe Army Camp, was selected to house people while their asylum claims are processed.

Police officers are escorted around Napier Barracks. Picture: (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Police officers are escorted around Napier Barracks. Picture: (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The plans were met with criticism, including from local MP Damian Collins who says he “cannot support” the decision and called on the Home Office to find “more suitable” accommodation.

It is understood that a military barracks in Wales is also being considered for housing asylum seekers.

The two sites are part of the MoD training estate, it is understood.

Any training will be relocated to alternative sites or rescheduled, so there will no military personnel on site if and when they are used by the Home Office.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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