Residents of Barton Stacey have said that a proposed immigration camp north of the village will “totally change the dynamic” of the village.

Villagers were responding to plans proposed by the Home Office to use the site of a former Army base near the village to house up to 500 single men while their applications for asylum are processed.

They were concerned over a number of issues about the plans, including the location, lack of facilities and a lack of information.

The Eastmans, among the closest residents to the proposed camp, told the Advertiser that they had concerns about the site, even when it was an army camp.

“We don’t agree with it,” they said. “We can both remember when it was an army camp. There were lots of men walking up and down the road here, and fights in the pub. It was nice when they moved on, shall we say.”

They said that they were concerned about the site being a location for single men, but said they were more open to the concept of families being housed at the site.

This was a view shared by Lisa May, who works at the village shop. The 54-year-old said that 500 men being brought to the village “doesn’t sit well” with her.

“We’re a village of 1000,” she said. “To import 500 men is going to totally change the dynamic. It’s not right in a population that’s very small, to suddenly give 50% [of the population] again is incredible.”

She raised concerns about the lack of information villagers had received about the plans, saying that they “just need facts,” including information about curfews, supervision and water supplies.

Laura Sprake also told the Advertiser that she had “no contact” regarding the proposals, having only found out about the plans through a post in a neighbouring village’s Facebook group.

The 48-year-old said: “I know people have to go somewhere and I appreciate that that they come from really troubled places, but I just feel that portacabins aren’t going to be great accommodation.”

She compared the plans to those of the proposed incinerator, rejected in February after protests, saying that she “can’t help feeling that the village keeps getting picked on”.

She continued: “It’s a very difficult one, I do feel for them, but I don’t think the village is the right place.”

Barrie Purdue agreed, saying that the camp would be “right in the wrong place.

“People say ‘not in my backyard,’” he said, “but it’s not about that. If we are going to treat them right then let’s treat them right, no half measures.”

Their comments follow those of a number of politicians, including Caroline Nokes MP and Councillor Phil North, who set up a joint petition against the plans. At the time of writing, this petition had over 3,100 signatures.

A decision on the camp is set to be made by the Home Office in the next few weeks.