There have been several protests outside the building and a vocal UKIP-backed campaign on Facebook and other social media.
The plans were approved by councillors on Halton Council last night in the face of public opposition, as around 80 people demonstrated outside.
Save Lilycross campaign spokeswoman Karen Forde said: “The rural community of 50 residents will drastically change with the arrival of asylum seekers from mixed countries of origin, which will make them the majority population. Our community will be overwhelmed and we will be outnumbered.”
Villagers protest outside the Lilycross Care Home in Widnes over plans for an asylum centre there.
“They have completely disregarded the local consensus.”
Mike Dale, who is part of the Facebook group, said he was concerned not enough was known about the potential residents at the point they will be housed there.
He told Express.co.uk: “My main concern is that nobody knows what the background is to these asylum seekers and whether they have a criminal record.
“We could potentially have asylum seekers involved in drug or people trafficking, assault, murder, child abuse, terrorism or organised crime.
He added: “It is described as an insecure ‘open door hostel’ for 120 un-assessed mainly male asylum seekers.
“The 120 people will be crammed in for economic reasons into a facility designed to accommodate only 60 elderly mainly bed bound patients.
Campaigners sent out thousands of leaflets urging residents to oppose the plans at Lilycross.
A further 774 people individually objected as did Halton MP Derek Twigg and some local councillors.
Just 11 representations were received by the council supporting the plans.
But staunch opposition did not stop Halton Borough Council from voting the plans through.
A council spokesman said: “The Development Control Committee considered the matter very carefully and, taking into account all the evidence and the relevant material planning issues, approved the application subject to conditions.”
The asylum centre will be developed a stone’s throw from this new estate of £500,000 homes.
It is believed the bulk of new occupants will be male, and public concerns raised in a council report included a “fear of sexually motivated attacks on women and children”.
Serco, one of three firms hired by the Government, also including Clearsprings and G4S, which have multi-million pound contracts to house growing numbers of asylum seekers, applied for permission to transform the empty care home last year, sparking a major local campaign against the proposals.
And a planning statement made to Halton Borough Council said Serco was rolling out the facilities across the country.
This has been an absolute travesty of justice. They have completely disregarded the local consensus.
Councillor Andrew McManus’s said the asylum hostel could create “negative perceptions” in the minds of potential visitors to the area and that businesses would suffer loss and employment may be affected.
Residents said Lilycross was not an appropriate location for a hostel due to its distance from amenities, and the property would devalue homes on the new estate built by Redrow Homes.
Other concerns raised by residents included fear of crime rising, potential adverse and detrimental effect on tourism, and that it should be reopened as a nursing home.
The former Lilycross care home which can now be transformed into the asylum centre.
“The bringing back into use of a vacant building is more likely to have a positive impact on the economy by way of providing jobs and spending in the local area.”
Jenni Halliday, Serco’s contract director for Compass, added: “We fully understand both the challenges that local communities face and how vulnerable these people can be and we routinely consult with the relevant Local Authorities and the Home Office about the accommodation needs and to see how people can best be looked after.
“Our priority is at all times to make sure they are safe and secure and are treated with dignity and respect.”
The former Lilycross Care Home closed last August after it was slammed as “inadequate” across all areas by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The home later had its registration with the health watchdog scrubbed after a CQC report said it did not adequately safeguard people from harm and that dementia patients suffered unexplained bruises.
Many of the new occupants of the Lilycross asylum centre in Widnes will come from war-torn Syria.
“They can also place additional demands of policing.
“However… we do not anticipate or force any significant change in demand rom the change in use of the building.”
He said any crimes caused by new occupants of the hostel would