High Court reserves judgement on judicial review for RAF Scampton asylum accommodation

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Sally Grindrod-Smith being interviewed outside the High Court, London

A High Court judge has reserved judgement following a two-day hearing on the Home Office’s use of RAF Scampton to house asylum seekers. It means that residents of West Lindsey will need to wait a little while longer for the judgement.

In July, West Lindsey District Council was given permission to pursue a judicial review, which took place this week, in London. This was alongside another legal challenge by a resident from Wethersfield and Braintree District Council for the RAF Whethersfield site. Mrs Justice Thornton heard arguments from all parties.

Since the decision was taken by the Home Office to use the site to house asylum seekers, West Lindsey District Council has used legal routes to challenge the decision.

Cllr Trevor Young, Leader of West Lindsey District Council, said:

“West Lindsey District Council welcomed the opportunity to set out our arguments as part of the Judicial Review. We maintain our position that this is not an appropriate site for this purpose the Home Office intends to use it for. Not only that the decision made is jeopardising our £300 million - once in a generation, levelling up, regeneration scheme – which has taken years to plan for.

“We now eagerly await the outcome from the Judge, which we very much hope is the right one for the residents of Scampton and West Lindsey. I would like to thank our community for their unwavering support, their intelligence sharing and their patience as we proceeded with the legal challenge. Together, we have done all we can for now.”

Whilst no time frame for the judgement has been announced. It is likely that it will take a number of weeks.

Director of Planning, Regeneration and Communities, Sally Grindrod-Smith, said:

“As we await the outcome of the judgement, we will continue to hold the Home Office to account and seek to use any powers we have as the Local Planning Authority to do so. We have heard no evidence during the course of these proceedings which changes our position.

"Together with our partners across the public sector in Lincolnshire we will continue to seek assurtance from the Home Office that the site will be safe, legal and compliant"

 

Cllr Lesley Rollings, Deputy Leader of West Lindsey District Council, also attended the two-day hearing in London.

She said:

“The Judicial Review was an important way for us to represent our local community. They have quite rightly got a number of concerns about the Home Office proposal to house 2,000 asylum seekers in their community and to date they have had limited engagement and communication on the proposals.

“It was also an opportunity for us to hold the government to account over their proposals, which we have consistently done since the announcement to use the site was made and we will continue to do so.

“In the meantime, as we await the judgement, we would like to say a big thank you to our dedicated legal team, including West Lindsey District Council Officers for the way the arguments were presented. I would also like to again thank the community of West Lindsey and beyond for supporting our legal challenge.”

For more information and background on RAF Scampton, please visit the council’s dedicated RAF Scampton webpage.

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit our council news pages

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