Sheffield hotel not fit for asylum seekers says councillors

Councillors have raised concern about asylum seekers being housed in a hotel that hit headlines for antisocial behaviour during Covid-19.

Monday, 30th May 2022, 5:16 pm

Staindrop Lodge, in Chapeltown, is being used by the Home Office to house asylum seekers but Sheffield Council and local politicians said the location is not good enough.

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Councillor Mike Levery, representative for the area, said: “The hotel was previously used to house rough sleepers during the pandemic until June last year, with many issues raised at the time by local residents. The hotel was starting to get back on its feet since then and trade had picked up. However, once again, it has ceased operating as a hotel, and will house asylum seekers for the foreseeable future.

Staindrop Lodge, Sheffield.

“We, of course, support Sheffield being a ‘City of Sanctuary’, but we simply do not think this a good location to be keeping people in.

“The council wrote to the Home Office to raise several issues a number of weeks ago with respect to the use of Staindrop Lodge, including the suitability of its location, access to medical care, education and the availability of support for the residents, with the hotel not being near the facilities these families need.

“Sheffield City Council cannot endorse the use of this hotel for this purpose; a response from the Home Office is still to come. We are a caring city, and it’s important that we do our best for asylum seekers.”

History of Staindrop Lodge

Plans to covert the hotel into 44 bedsits for homeless people were unanimously refused by the council’s planning and highways committee last year.

The planning application was submitted after the building was used to accommodate homeless people under emergency coronavirus legislation from 2020 to 2021.

But more than 300 people objected saying there had been a catalogue of complaints about antisocial behaviour – Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said crime shot up by 675 per cent – and the council’s director of housing said it was unsuitable because there was no support network in the area.