PLANS have been revealed to create a site for 500 asylum seekers on the edge of a Hampshire village – but they have been slammed by a council leader for its "dangerous" location.

The site, which would be located on Ministry of Defence land near the busy A303 in Barton Stacey, would see asylum seekers, staying in portacabins while they wait for their applications to be processed.

It is expected that the site will be for young men who have come into the UK on boats from the continent.

A decision on the plans is expected to be made by Westminster in the next few weeks.

But Councillor Phil North, leader of Test Valley Borough Council, has warned of the dangers of placing the site next to the well-used road, as those in the camp will "almost certainly" walk down the busy A303 on foot to access nearby towns and services.

He added: "This represents a significant highway danger in them walking on land adjacent to the road and in the carriageway itself.

"In my view, this is unacceptably dangerous to both the travelling public and the asylum seekers themselves.

He also likened the site to an "open prison".

Adding that although he understood the argument about "disincentivising dangerous channel crossings", this proposal was the "wrong accommodation in the wrong location".

He said: "Apart from some dining and basic recreation facilities, there will be absolutely nothing for them to do.

"There are few places I would consider less appropriate for a facility of this nature and it concerns me that this would even be considered.

“An influx of 500 young men in a village with an existing population of just 1,000, would have an overwhelmingly detrimental impact. In other similar facilities this has led to an increase in anti-social behaviour and criminality.

Cllr North added: “I have already written to the Immigration Minister, Chris Philp MP, setting out, in the strongest possible terms, the many arguments against this proposal. I have no doubt that local residents will be hugely concerned and I wish to reassure them that they have my full support in fighting this.

“To that end, the local MP Caroline Nokes and I have started a petition to try and get the Home Office to change their mind. I’d be grateful if you would consider adding your name to show the strength of feeling locally.”