Fresh legal challenge launched against Government’s long-term asylum plans for RAF Scampton
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The Home Office has confirmed it is looking to secure planning permission for the use of RAF Scampton for asylum accommodation for three and a half years from April.
Coun Trevor Young, leader of West Lindsey District Council, said: “The council’s decision demonstrates our commitment to hold the Government to account in relation to its decision to use RAF Scampton for the purposes of housing 2,000 male asylum seekers.
“The airbase is a place with significant history, as many of you will know, it was once home to the Dambusters. It is important for us to preserve the historical and architectural integrity of the listed structures and the setting at RAF Scampton as they contribute significantly to the cultural heritage of the area.
“Not only is the site of national importance it is also key to unlocking our £300 million regeneration investment in the district and it needs to be protected to safeguard the unique investment that is knocking at our door.
“The Government has not only failed to understand the complexity of the site through its inadequate Environment Impact Assessment, but it has also failed to engage properly with local people throughout the process leading to significant anxiety within the community.
“RAF Scampton is wholly unsuitable for the purpose they propose and as such they need to engage in meaningful consultation with all future stakeholders to ensure a balanced and sustainable approach to addressing asylum seeker accommodation needs is developed nationally. It can’t simply continue to be a postcode lottery based on the availability of Crown Land alone.”
Sally Grindrod-Smith, director for Planning, Regeneration and Communities at West Lindsey District Council said: “We continue to hold the view that RAF Scampton is an unsuitable site for asylum seeker accommodation.
“The Governments own assessment of the impacts through their EIA Screen Direction fails to address our long held and fundamental concerns. As such it is important that we continue to make this point and where necessary challenge their decisions through the court.”