A campaign has formed to turn a currently empty Wetherspoon pub, the Crown Hotel on High Street, into a temporary home for refugee women and children.
The idea has been championed by Ken Lynch and Father Richard Moroney, who believe the disused Biggleswade pub would be a perfect refuge centre and have pitched the idea to MP Alistair Burt.
Mr Lynch, 79, told the Chronicle: “We’ve discussed it and I thought it was a good idea. I’m hoping that Wetherspoon can be contacted to see if the accommodation can be used,
“I’m also hoping the people in the community put some of these families up. I’m talking about mothers and children, not those that come over and take us for a ride. A lot of these people are starving.”
Mr Lynch said although many townspeople would be against the pub’s use for this purpose, the building currently isn’t being put to good use.
“Myself and others feel this building is just standing there doing nothing.Having this ex-hotel is the answer.”
Central Bedfordshire Council approved Wetherspoon’s plan to refurbish the pub in February 2015.
This was in spite of opposition from the town council – whose main objections to the plans had been over a lack of parking, and the loss of the right of way through the Crown’s yard.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon: “ We can confirm that we own the freehold of the site.
“We are currently applying for the relative permissions to develop the property into a pub and hotel.
“We are sympathetic to the situation, however we are unable to make the building available for this project.”
MP Alistair Burt was contacted but was unavailable for comment before the Chronicle went to press.