THE Stradey Park Hotel asylum seekers row stepped up a gear today with the arrival of large quantities of block stone (boulders) to partially obstruct the main entrance to the hotel.
A three-metre gap has been left in the entrance to the four-star hotel to allow for access by customers and emergency services.
Residents are concerned at latest news that suggests a July 3 start for the Home Office project to use the hotel to house an expected 300 asylum seekers.
It is not clear who has ordered the block stone barrier and there is widespread local speculation that the access gap could be sealed off at any stage.
A spokesman for the Furnace Action Committee – the group formed after a public meeting to debate the asylum seekers plan – said that it was always likely that there would be random, independent acts to disrupt the plan.
He added: “As an action committee we are aware of the block stone barrier.
“It is our understanding that the hotel – and its owners, Sterling Woodrow, do not actually own the access forecourt to the hotel.
“There are issues with historic access, land registration, covenants and permissions which are being investigated by our legal teams.
“The arrival of a block stone barrier definitely highlights these issues to hotel owners Sterling Woodrow.
“From the point of view of the Furnace Action Committee, it may get them to see sense.
“Hopefully, they will not proceed with what we understand to be contract arrangement with Clearsprings, the company which acts as agents for the Home Office for asylum seeker accommodation throughout the UK.
“We have said previously that it is a barmy, half-baked scheme which will damage the community of Furnace and Llanelli and one which is not in the best interests of asylum seekers.”
Meanwhile, the Furnace Action Committee has seen email correspondence between Rob Horwood, the managing director of Sterling Woodrow and some Carmarthenshire County councillors.
In the email, Mr Horwood maintains that no contract currently exists between Sterling Woodrow and Clearsprings.