Judicial review application over RAF Scampton

West Lindsey District Council has today applied to the High Court for Judicial Review of the decision to utilise RAF Scampton for asylum accommodation.
RAF Scampton's main gate before its closure earlier this yearRAF Scampton's main gate before its closure earlier this year
RAF Scampton's main gate before its closure earlier this year

The application to the High Court also seeks urgent consideration of interim relief to prevent the Home Office developing the site whilst the Judicial Review proceedings are ongoing.

Director of Planning Regeneration and Communities at West Lindsey District Council, Sally Grindrod-Smith, said: “The Council does not take lightly this application for Judicial Review.

"However, given the impact of the Home Office plans on our £300 million investment, we have been left with no choice.”

The Judicial Review looks to challenge the decision made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department. The Council believes that the Secretary of State has acted unlawfully by failing properly to take

account of key material considerations in relation to the site. Equally, the Council challenges the Government’s decision to rely upon temporary permitted development rights when the intended use of the site extends beyond the temporary period of permission.

Sally continued: ‘The Council considers the Home Office has not adequately assessed local factors in determining to use RAF Scampton for asylum accommodation. In particular the local planning context

should have been a material consideration in any site selection exercise and we have received no assurance that this has been the case.

“We do not believe it is appropriate to rely upon temporary permitted development rights when it is clear that the site would be used for longer than any temporary permission would allow.”

The Council has followed all government processes in making its expression of interest to acquire the site from the Ministry of Defence and in the preparation of the site-specific policy within the adopted

Central Lincolnshire Local Plan. It can not be acceptable that a process with any less rigour is followed by the government when making decisions regarding the future of a key strategic site.

"The urgent nature of the application for interim relief as part of the Judicial Review will mean that this is prioritised by the High Court. If interim relief is not granted, the Council will press for the Judicial Review

to be heard as soon as possible.

“We continue to work with our colleagues in other affected areas to assess and understand any impacts arising from similar legal proceedings.

“West Lindsey District Council does not consider this site to be appropriate for asylum seekers and the Council remains clear that Home Office proposals will curtail plans to deliver the £300 million regeneration

programme and put at risk the world-renowned heritage.”

Sally added: “However, it is important that we prepare for every eventuality. Therefore, we continue to engage with partners across Lincolnshire including police, the health sector and other Councils, to

ensure that if proposals do go ahead, any actions required in order to minimise the impact on local communities and to support asylum seekers, are identified and raised with the Home Office.”

The authority will be giving further updates once timescales for the proceedings are clear.