7 December 2023
It’s looking increasingly likely that the former RAF air base at Scampton, Lincs will be used to house up to 2,000 asylum seekers after the High Court dismissed a claim by the local council.
West Lindsey District Council had argued that the Home Office had acted unlawfully in its decision making in March 2023 to use the site for asylum accommodation, for a period of 12 months.
Mrs Justice Thornton said The Secretary of State for the Home Department was entitled to rely on General Permitted Development Rights and the definition of ‘emergency’. However, the judge acknowledged there were compelling reasons to allow an appeal on all grounds.
Leader of the council, Cllr Trevor Young, said, “West Lindsey District Council remains firmly of the view that the site of RAF Scampton is not suitable for accommodating 2,000 single adult male asylum seekers. It was important for us to challenge the decision taken by the government in March of this year and we made a strong case to the Court.
“We understand the concerns and frustrations of our community. I am incredibly grateful for the support the Council has received from our communities, residents, MPs, businesses, and our partners, throughout the process. We will continue to work hard to protect the £300 million investment proposal that is on the table.”
Director of Planning, Regeneration and Communities at West Lindsey District Council, Sally Grindrod-Smith added, “Whilst this is not the outcome we were hoping for, we have been planning for all possible scenarios.
“We will continue to hold the Home Office to account, in order to protect our services, communities and the investment opportunity, which will secure the long-term sustainability of the area.”
The full judgment can be found on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website.
RAF Scampton late 70’s. In a marked change of useage it is about to become a refugee camp. Some speculation about whether or not military accommodation is good enough for the new inhabitants. pic.twitter.com/kg6M01BxwE
— Chris Bolton (@CcibChris) December 7, 2023