RAF Scampton compromise with Home Office is 'best chance at a future' says councillor

​The Home Office plans to house asylum seekers at the former RAF site​The Home Office plans to house asylum seekers at the former RAF site
​The Home Office plans to house asylum seekers at the former RAF site
The expected compromise between the Home Office and West Lindsey District Council regarding RAF Scampton is being hailed as the village’s “best chance” at a future, according to a local councillor.

In recent weeks, representatives from both sides have met multiple times to discuss the future of the former RAF Scampton airbase outside Lincoln, following the Home Office’s plans to house up to 2,000 asylum seekers there, which ultimately disrupted a £300 million redevelopment proposal from Scampton Holdings Limited.

In March, after a year of protests that prompted people to camp outside the base, the government agency announced it would cap the number of migrants being moved on site to just 800.

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In the following weeks, Tom Pursglove, the Minister of State for the Home Office, insisted that the government is working closely with the council to find a middle ground where both parties can begin using the site.

West Lindsey District Councillor Roger Patterson (Conservative) stated that this compromise would be the village’s best chance at a future, with the redevelopment plan promising to bring thousands of highly-skilled jobs to the area.

“All I’ve heard is they’re talking,” he added, pointing out that representatives recently met with Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove and Secretary of State for Defence Grant Schapps.

“I’m pretty sure the end is close and that there is going to be a compromise.”

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Nevertheless, the Tory councillor also maintained that he felt no asylum seekers could ever be moved onto the site, as arrival dates have continuously been delayed for more than a year.

He said: “I really don’t think they’re ever going to turn up, I know I’ve said it before, but I’m pretty confident.

“The interesting thing would be if they start using Scampton as a runway for Rwanda, but that has never been mentioned.”

He explained both sides have recently withdrawn parts of their legal battles against each other, with the Home Office dropping their appeal against the Stop Notices, but the appeal of Miss Justice Thornton’s ruling on last year’s judicial review is still set to go ahead next month.

West Lindsey District Council declined to provide a statement or an update.