Thursday, May 30, 2024

Council ‘shocked and concerned’ as Home Office lists Scampton as asylum seeker base

West Lindsey District Council is ‘shocked and concerned’ after the Home Office confirmed this week that the site is one of a number of sites being assessed for their suitability to accommodate asylum seekers.

A spokesman for the Council said that although the Home Office had said no decision has been made, it appeared that it had, because adverts had appeared in the press from Serco advertising for housing officers to work in Scampton this week. This has come as a great surprise to the Council which has invested a significant amount of time and resources over a number of years in developing a major investment plan for the site.

The Council announced only on Monday 6 March that it had appointed a development partner to deliver a prosperous and sustainable future for RAF Scampton.

The deal, which will secure over £300 million of investment into the regeneration of the site will preserve, protect and enhance the site by providing aviation heritage, business, aerospace, space and aviation technology and education opportunities. This announcement has led to a flurry of calls with Scampton Holdings Ltd from interested parties.

But just a day later, rumours started circulating that RAF Scampton was being considered as a place to be used by the Home Office for the accommodation of asylum seekers, for which there is currently no planning permission and which would prevent the realisation of the major redevelopment scheme which is currently in progress.

Cllr Owen Bierley, Leader of West Lindsey District Council has therefore called for Home Office to look elsewhere.

He said: “The idea that RAF Scampton is even being considered gives me significant cause for concern, particularly in relation to our local community, who have already been in contact, especially given the fact it is anticipated that 1,500 single men could be moved to the location. Given that the site has poor public transport connectivity and is remote in nature to services, we consider that this site is not suitable for the accommodation of asylum seekers, quite apart from the terminal effect such use would have on the important development scheme underway there.

“The issue of housing asylum seekers is not new, yet this idea of using the site at Scampton appears to have come out of nowhere, as the Home Office did not express an interest in purchasing the site, when the Council started a very detailed and thorough procurement process.

“Our interest in the site has always been to support our communities. Lincolnshire has a long history of ex Mod sites being disposed of, particularly in West Lindsey. We wanted to ensure this site, given its significant social and historic value to the country, was comprehensively redeveloped to create future economic sustainability for RAF Scampton and indeed across Greater Lincolnshire and beyond.

“That is why we have been at the forefront of discussions since 2018, leading with a bespoke planning policy to inform future development. Public consultation has been on going in relation to the development of this policy, over the last four years informing a fully master planned scheme.

“We have delivered everything asked of us by the MOD to get into this position of being able to acquire the site and ultimately support them in achieving their Defence Estate Optimisation Strategy. And more importantly, we have a deliverable investment plan, which is ready to go but could not be delivered if the Home Office progress with the housing of asylum seekers on site.

“We know that the issue of rehousing asylum seekers is a priority for the Home Office but if they were successful in realising their ambitions of deploying RAF Scampton in this way, it would be counter-productive to the Government’s longer-term investment and Levelling Up agenda. The Government’s flagship project is about helping communities level up by bringing in investment to support our economy, create jobs and boost employment.

“For all of these reasons and given the particular circumstances which apply to RAF Scampton, we are urging the Government to remove RAF Scampton from its list of proposed asylum accommodation locations.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £27.55 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.


Latest posts

The Baths Hall to welcome Nadiya and Kai from Strictly Come Dancing

After the great success of their critically acclaimed debut tour 'Once Upon A Time', dance stars Nadiya Bychkova and Kai Widdrington have announced they will...

Bumper free family activity programme comes to Scunthorpe town centre this summer

Families can look forward to a bumper programme of free activities in Scunthorpe town centre this summer when a host of hands-on experiences take...

500,000th visitor celebrated by the IBCC

The International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln has welcomed its 500,000th visitor since opening in 2018. Simon Poole was the lucky visitor, visiting with his...

Planning application submitted for £26m South Holland Health & Wellbeing Hub

The creation of a new £26 million South Holland Health & Wellbeing Hub has moved a step closer, with the submission of a planning...

Classic Ibiza perfects its best show yet ahead of Burghley House return

With Classic Ibiza’s return to Burghley House on Saturday 27 July rapidly approaching, Urban Soul Orchestra, the show’s headliners, assembled in a London recording...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.