University applies to take over Aylesbury Vale hotel used to house asylum seekers

The Home Office is closing the hotel next month
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A Bucks university has launched an application to temporarily take over the running of a hotel currently homing asylum seekers.

An application to use the Best Western hotel in Buckingham as a temporary accommodation site for students has been submitted by the University of Buckingham.

This week Buckingham MP Greg Smith confirmed the hotel was among 50 currently used by migrants that was set to close.

Best Western Hotel in BuckinghamBest Western Hotel in Buckingham
Best Western Hotel in Buckingham

He confirmed the decision with the Home Office as it plans to move asylum seekers onto barges and other temporary arrangements.

Buckingham’s MP and Home Office minister Robert Jenrick confirmed the hotel will no longer be controlled by the Government after 23 November.

However, some residents believe that the process of moving people out of the hotel has already begun.

In its application the university states it would change the hotel into catered student accommodation with an area which could be used for conferences and events. It would also seek to alter the layout of the car park.

Read More
Bucks Council preparing bid to open second primary school in Aylesbury developme...

Taking over the site appeals to the university as it is seeing an increase in demand for its courses again, now the pandemic has finished. In its application the university notes, how in particular, demand for its medical school, means around 90 per cent of applicants are turned down.

In its planning statement, which can be read online here, the university also references previous successful accommodation bids to construct further buildings on Tingewick Road and Station Road.

But both were abandoned after the university could not generate the capital funding to complete the projects.

A university spokesperson said: “It should be noted that the university is unable to access any direct Government funding for learning, teaching, research or capital activity. It has to rely on its own resources and alumni donations.”

The University of Buckingham hopes to inherit the building for five years starting in January 2024.

The education institution also outlined that the Bucks town has alternative hotels and bed and breakfast venues available.

No objections against the application have been submitted. It has been assessed for traffic disruption, its ecological impact, and its ability to waste manage effectively, without receiving refusals.

Buckingham Town Council raised has no objections regarding the project.