Prominent hotels on the edge of the city will become temporary homes for refugees and people seeking asylum.

Proposals have been made by the Home Office for additional hotels in Norfolk including the Holiday Inn Express in Drayton High Road, Hellesdon and Best Western Brook Hotel in Bowthorpe.

It is proposed for them "to be used for the purpose of asylum contingency accommodation", according to information passed to South Norfolk Council's elected members by its officers.

A spokesman for the council said: "The Home Office has taken all rooms in the hotels and the arrangements have already started. The council's community teams and the council's community connectors will work with our local people to help resolve any concerns.

"Once the asylum process has been completed our housing teams will be available to help those who wish to stay in the area."

It is understood people will move on to other accommodation.

The Best Western has around 80 bedrooms with a capacity for 172 people and 78 bedrooms in the Holiday Inn Express with capacity for 176, according to Costessey Town Council member Gary Blundell who is husband of Liberal Democrat county and district councillor for Costessey, Sharon Blundell.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Office does not comment on operational arrangements for individual hotels.

“The use of hotels to house asylum seekers is unacceptable and we are working with local authorities to find appropriate long-term accommodation across the United Kingdom.”

Norwich Evening News: Costessey Town Council member Gary BlundellCostessey Town Council member Gary Blundell (Image: Sophie Wyllie)

Mr Blundell said: "I have no issues with it but we have to put in as much effort into helping our own society as well, including the homeless."

He added it was important infrastructure, including GP surgeries to support the people staying in the hotels, was in place and the memo from council officers said the temporary accommodation would be staffed 24/7 with two housing officers and two security staff.

Norwich Evening News: Mike Sands, Labour city and county councillor for BowthorpeMike Sands, Labour city and county councillor for Bowthorpe (Image: Archant)

Mike Sands, Labour city councillor for Bowthorpe, said: "We have got a lot of refugees who desperately need help. I know this will generate some consternation in certain elements of the community but we have a duty to assist refugees.

"Norwich has a history of welcoming people. It is a humanitarian issue and we cannot abandon refugees."