A council says it is considering taking action against a Great Yarmouth hotel that is housing dozens of asylum seekers.

The Hotel Victoria by the town's seafront has begun taking in asylum seekers via a Home Office scheme.

It is believed more than 50 will be housed there.

However the arrangement has been strongly criticised by Great Yarmouth Council, which held a special behind closed doors briefing with councillors on Wednesday about the move.

A statement from the council released last night says it had not been told about the arrangements and that the hotel does not have the relevant permission to house the asylum seekers.

The statement says the council is considering enforcement action against the hotel and has contacted the Home Office with its concerns, including a lack of transparency over its scheme to house the asylum seekers.

The statement from Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “We have only very recently become aware that a number of asylum seekers have been placed at the Victoria Hotel in Great Yarmouth.

“We have serious concerns about the suitability of this accommodation for asylum seekers, and the hotel should have applied for the correct planning permission before any asylum seekers were housed.

"No application for change of use has been received to date and the council will pursue appropriate enforcement action where necessary.

“We are therefore opposed to the way this situation has arisen and the lack of dialogue with ourselves and other stakeholders in the town.

"We have clearly communicated our views and concerns to both the hotel owner and the Home Office.

“We are also concerned about placing further strain on core services in an already highly populated and prime tourist area.

“Despite our severe reservations as to the approach adopted, the council will provide humanitarian support where necessary, working with our strategic and community partners.”

The Home Office and the Hotel Victoria have been contacted to see if they wanted to respond to the council's statement.

The Home Office replied to say it would not be making any further comment on the issue and re-issued a statement it had sent out on Thursday which said: “We are dealing with an unprecedented increase in asylum cases but despite this we continue to ensure that the accommodation provided is safe, secure and leaves no one destitute.

“The Home Office does not comment on operational arrangements for individual hotels.”

Hotel Victoria had not replied.