THREE asylum seekers were moved from a Colchester hotel to a barge, only for one to be moved back soon after, it has been claimed.

The men, who had been staying at a hotel in Colchester, boarded a coach to the Bibby Stockholm – a barge used to house migrants in Dorset, the BBC reported.

But Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Migrant Action (RAMA), a Colchester-based organisation, told the BBC one of the men was later taken back to the hotel because of health conditions.

It has previously been reported the hotel, which has not been named by the broadcaster, is expected to stop providing accommodation to asylum seekers by January.

The Gazette is only aware of one hotel in the borough housing asylum seekers – the Holiday Inn Express in Birchwood Road, where more than 100 refugees were understood to be living.

Gazette: Hotel - the Holiday Inn Express in Birchwood RoadHotel - the Holiday Inn Express in Birchwood Road (Image: Google Maps)

RAMA’s director Maria Wilby told the BBC: “People have started to get letters telling them that they will be moved on to different accommodation.

“Last week several people were given notice that they would be moving to the Bibby Stockholm.”

She added one of the men had been driven back to the hotel because of health conditions which meant he shouldn’t be moved to such a location.

It is currently not known where the remaining asylum seekers will move to when the hotel closes its doors to them.

The Home Office wouldn’t comment on the movement of asylum seekers.

A spokesman said: “The Bibby Stockholm is part of the Government’s pledge to reduce the use of expensive hotels and bring forward alternative accommodation options which provide a more cost effective, sustainable and manageable system for the UK taxpayer and local communities.”

“Accommodation is offered to asylum seekers on a no-choice basis, and any asylum seeker who refuses accommodation may have their government support withdrawn. In all circumstances, anyone seeking asylum is expected to remain in contact with the Home Office.”

The barge will be operational for at least 18 months and will remain berthed in Dorset during that time.

It has previously housed workers from several industries, including shipyard workers and construction workers.