CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council is investigating complaints relating to the remove of hedges around a Llanelli Hotel.

The complaints were received relating to a section of hedge bank on the boundary of the Stradey Park Hotel which has recently become the home for up to 241 asylum seekers.

The council recently lost a High Court hearing to put a temporary injunction in place to stop the use of the hotel, stating that planning permission had not been gained for the change of use.

They are investigating whether the removal of the hedge was done in breach of planning regulations.

Cllr Ann Davies, cabinet member for planning policy and rural affairs, said: “Following complaints received relating to the removal of part of a hedge bank bounding the Stradey Park Hotel, along its boundary with Pentrepoeth Road, Furnace, the council is currently investigation the position with respect to potential breaches of planning regulations, taking into account any safety concerns.

“Once the investigation has concluded within the next day or so, the council will consider what the appropriate next steps may be.”

Following the news that the hotel would be used to house up to 241 asylum seekers, there were concerns relating to the pressure it would put on the already strained services in the area, with the council highlighting a more dispersed model that would be more effective and would allow those moving to the county to be better integrated into the communities.

This has been echoed by Plaid Cymru who state that the UK Government’s policy of housing asylum seekers in hotels does not serve the needs of asylum seekers themselves and that they favour ‘the dispersed model of accommodation provision as a more sustainable way of offering a longer-term solution for asylum seekers, especially in a county such as Carmarthenshire.”

The Home Office stated that it consulted with the local authority at the earliest possible stage, which was refuted by the council and Plaid Cymru.

A Plaid Cymru spokesperson said: “There has been no local engagement or any form of consultation with local service providers to understand the impact this decision will have.

“No additional resources have been allocated to address increased demands on local government services, already stripped to the bone due to a decade of Tory-imposed austerity measures.”

There was further anger when it was announced that 95 members of staff at the hotel would lose their jobs.

The spokesperson continued: “95 staff members have lost their jobs amid a cost-of-living crisis and in a town where unemployment and poverty figures remain stubbornly high.

“There are serious concerns about the impact it will have on the cohesion of the local community, service delivery – which include the availability of school places and access to local health services and GP services, and the risk and the suitability of the accommodation to the asylum seekers themselves.

“We favour pursuing a more sustainable model of dispersal, which would allow asylum seekers to better integrate into our communities and allowing the Stradey Park Hotel to continue providing key events, such as weddings, and reinstating the jobs of former employees.

“Carmarthenshire has also always been a welcoming authority and has a strong track record of supporting asylum seekers and refugees.

"This has been exemplified in their support for many resettlement programmes, including Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine. This has been achieved through a co-ordinated and planned approach via the dispersed model.

“The plans, without consultation, to accommodate 241 asylum seekers across 77 rooms in the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli is an example of policy not led by compassion, but by an inhumane approach to others’ situations.

"And, as the Welsh Refugee Council and Carmarthenshire Council have stated, it is not a suitable option.”

The statements come as protests at the hotel over the weekend saw four people charged after a 'number of incidents.'