Council promised RAF Scampton access as Home Office brings more portable buildings
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Council officers are scheduled to inspect the former airbase today, Thursday, after a temporary stop notice was served, requiring the Home Office to stop work near the listed buildings, intrusive surveys and putting up fencing.
However, the Home Office has been accelerating its efforts to transform the site into an asylum centre, with more portable buildings arriving on site all week, including on yesterday.
Since the council issued the TSN, officers have been consistently denied access, while the Home Office has refrained from commenting due to ongoing legal proceedings, with a judicial review scheduled at the end of October.
Sally Grindrod-Smith, council director of planning, regeneration and communities, said: “Following the TSN, the council has been granted full access to the site on September 14.
“Technical officers will assess all activities across the site and then will need time to consider the findings.
“The council would like to thank the community for their support and communications in providing us with information on the site and we will continue to keep you updated with information where we can.”
Sarah Carter, Save Our Scampton campaign group leader, said: “It makes us sick that the Home Office are carrying on with this work before the judicial review has even happened.
“All they care about is how much money they are saving by not having to use hotels to house asylum=seekers, but it could all be cancelled come the end of October.”
She also criticised the government agency for its lack of engagement with both the community and media.
Mrs Carter said: “Don’t preach to us about how much money the hotels are costing you when you’re just throwing money away.”
Coun Roger Patterson, member for Scampton, also conveyed his dismay over the Home Office’s perceived lack of transparency with the local residents and district council over whether it is adhering to the notice.
He said: “It’s out of order that the council can’t go on the site and make sure that the TSN is being followed. I don’t know how they’ve swung this one. It’s contempt. It’s clear the Home Office is not fit for purpose but it seems to just get away with it.”