IMMIGRATION minister Robert Jenrick has confirmed plans to house “several thousand” asylum seekers at former military bases in Essex and Lincolnshire and a separate site in East Sussex.

Asylum seekers will be housed in disused military bases, ferries and barges under Government plans to reduce the spending on hotels.

Mr Jenrick confirmed RAF Wethersfield in Essex and RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire will house migrants despite threats of judicial challenges from Tories in the areas.

Braintree and Witham Times: The MoD site at WethersfieldThe MoD site at Wethersfield (Image: PA)

A separate site on private land in Bexhill, East Sussex, will also be used.

Mr Jenrick told the Commons: “Today the Government is announcing the first tranche of sites we will set up to provide basic accommodation at scale."

It comes as the Immigration Minister tries to reduce the £6.8 million a day the Government says it spends on hotel accommodation.

Braintree and Witham Times: Immigration Minister Robert JenrickImmigration Minister Robert Jenrick (Image: PA)

Charities said the proposed accommodation is “grossly inadequate” to house people who have fled war, and a Conservative council is preparing legal action against the use of one airfield.

Foreign Secretary and Braintree MP James Cleverly also criticised the proposed use of a base in his Essex constituency.

On social media he said: “I highlighted the remote nature of the site, the limited transport infrastructure and narrow road network and that these factors would mean the site wasn’t appropriate for asylum accommodation.”

Braintree and Witham Times: Foreign Secretary and Braintree MP James Cleverly also criticised the proposed use of a base in his Essex constituencyForeign Secretary and Braintree MP James Cleverly also criticised the proposed use of a base in his Essex constituency (Image: N/A)

Sources also downplayed the likelihood of barges and ferries being used imminently, saying none had been purchased yet.

The Refugee Council said it was “deeply concerned” by the plans, saying the the suggested accommodation is “entirely unsuitable” to the needs of asylum seekers.

Enver Solomon, the charity’s chief executive, said: “These sites are wholly inadequate places to house vulnerable men, women and children who have come to our country in search of safety.

"We must ensure that people fleeing war, conflict and persecution can access safe, dignified, and appropriate accommodation while in the UK asylum system.

“They are also unworkable and will add yet more cost and chaos to the system.”

Council prepares legal action

Braintree Council said it is “preparing to apply to the High Court for an interim injunction”.

“This injunction challenges the Home Office proposals to place asylum seekers at Wethersfield airfield.

The papers are expected to be lodged with the High Court imminently,” a statement added.

“We would expect such an application would be heard within seven days, and we expect the matter to be heard by the High Court before any asylum seekers are occupied on site.”

Braintree and Witham Times: Local campaigners SWAP held a demo at the weekendLocal campaigners SWAP held a demo at the weekend (Image: SWAP)

The news was also criticised by local campaigners SWAP, who held a demo at the weekend.

The site in Wethersfield had also been eyed up by the Ministry of Justice as a potential location to build two new prisons.

No planning application has been submitted for the project.