Campaigners in a cathedral city have condemned the Government after the Home Office approved the acquisition of an entire luxury apartment complex to house asylum seekers.
Dozens of migrants have already moved into the 98 unit development in Chelmsford, Essex.
Locals opposed the scheme and said it was “grossly unfair” to house asylum seekers in plush apartments while hundreds of families were stuck in temporary and sub-standard accommodation.
The multi-million pound conversion of a former office block has been billed as one of Chelmsford’s most sought after residential complexes.
Marketing photographs show what appear to be very comfortable high-end living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms.
But for now at least, none of the residential units will be for local use.
Dozens of migrants have already moved in. The refurbishment work on the remaining apartments is almost complete.
Local campaign group Baddow and Sandon Neighbourhood Association said many local people were outraged by the move.
Dave Aldershaw said more than 400 families in Chelmsford were currently in temporary accommodation and often in very poor quality properties, while people who broke the law were being rewarded with luxury apartments.
“The word illegal needs to needs to be remembered,” he said.
“They are illegally here and yet they’re living in absolute luxury.
“I think that’s what’s frustrating and annoying so many people, that they’re getting everything and local people are living in some of these places that we see.
“here at this apartment complex, these asylum seekers are enjoying luxury living.”
The Government says it is determined to end the over reliance on hotels to accommodate asylum seekers.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We have been clear that the use of hotels to house asylum seekers is unacceptable. There are currently more than 51,000 asylum seekers in hotels, costing the UK taxpayer £6 million a day.