West Lindsey District Council has begun legal action against the Home Office

photo of former RAF Scampton

On Wednesday 29 March 2023 the Minister for Immigration announced plans to utilise RAF Scampton as a site for asylum accommodation.

As previously reported, West Lindsey District Council do not consider this site to be an appropriate site for asylum seekers and the Council remains concerned that the Home Office proposals will curtail plans to deliver the £300 million regeneration programme and put at risk the world-renowned heritage.

The Home Office has failed to provide a satisfactory response to questions raised by the Council and so today the Council has commenced legal action to challenge the Home Office’s decision.

The Council’s Director of Planning, Regeneration and Communities, Sally Grindrod-Smith, said:

“Despite ongoing attempts by the Council to set out to the Home Office the irretrievable damage that would be caused to the once in a generation investment opportunity that is on the table, the Home Secretary has taken the decision to utilise RAF Scampton as a site for asylum accommodation.

“The Council considers that the decision is irrational and moreover the Home Office does not have the appropriate planning permission for the intended use. The Council has therefore issued a letter before action, sent in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Judicial Review, which requires the Home Secretary to respond by no later than 4pm on Thursday, 6, April 2023.”

Since the announcement on Wednesday the government has issued a frequently asked questions documents published on their website: Factsheet: RAF Scampton asylum accommodation (accessible) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) However, some details remain unclear.

The Council will continue to work with the Home Office, and multi-agency partners across Lincolnshire to highlight what it considers to be a significant number of barriers to mobilising the site for asylum use. This includes significant contamination from previous site uses that requires thorough remediation before the site would be suitable for any sensitive use such as housing asylum seekers in temporary structures. 

Sally added:

“The Council is acutely aware of the concern caused by the proposal and the potential loss of much needed ‘levelling up’ investment. We will continue to press the Home Office to engage directly with our community to fully understand the concerns being raised.”

The Council continues to work with the Home Office on the national Asylum Seeker Full Dispersal Model, and whilst it maintains that Scampton is not a safe or appropriate site for asylum use, it is committed to playing its part in tackling the challenges that the country is currently facing.

We will continue to provide updates on the legal proceedings as is appropriate.


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