HEATHROW airport, already home to two detention centres for immigrants, is to get a new building that will house nearly 400 people in “prison-type conditions”.

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The extension to Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre is one government project that didn’t get the axe in yesterday’s ‘austerity’ Queen’s Speech. The scheme will see Harmondsworth more than double its capacity, from 259 to 623 spaces.

Today a report into the development slams its “prison-type accommodation in oppressive cells” and “deplores the fact that new wings built at Harmondsworth offer lower standards of decency than the facilities they replace.”

Nevertheless, the government’s immigrant-catchers are pleased with their new toy.

“The expansion of Harmondsworth will allow the UK Border Agency to remove even more foreign criminals and failed asylum seekers,” said David Wood, strategic director for criminality and detention at the UK Border Agency.

As well as the 623 prisoner places soon on tap at Harmondsworth, Heathrow is also home to 308 immigrants at the Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre.