Council resolves to move forward with appeal of Judicial Review judgement

Cllr Lesley Rollings
Cllr Lesley Rollings

West Lindsey District Council remains steadfast in its course of action as it agrees to pursue an appeal against the recent Judicial Review judgement.

The council confirmed its commitment at the council’s Corporate Policy and Resources Committee, held on Tuesday, 19 December, 2023.

Mrs Justice Thornton dismissed the council’s Judicial Review claim that the Home Office acted unlawfully in its decision-making in March 2023, to use the site for asylum accommodation, under Class Q for a period of 12 months. At the same time as the judgement was announced on 6 December, she also granted the council leave to appeal.

Cllr Trevor Young, Leader of the council, said: 

“It was important for us to challenge the decision taken by the government in March, and we strongly believe this is still the case now, given the findings from the legal proceedings. Our decision is strengthened by Mrs Justice Thornton who acknowledged ‘compelling grounds’ for us to appeal on all counts.”

Councillors ‘unanimously’ agreed to appeal to the Court of Appeal, after discussing all available options and seeking legal advice. 

Cllr Young added: 

“Our decision was not taken lightly, but our position has always been clear that this site is not suitable for accommodating 2,000 single, adult male asylum seekers.

“And whilst it has been a challenging 10 months, since the Home Office announced its plans to use RAF Scampton – we have spent much longer working to secure a once in a generation deal for West Lindsey and Lincolnshire as a whole. 

“This important historical base, which was once home of the Dambusters, is the perfect location for our landmark £300 million investment plan, which is currently at risk. We are compelled to take every possible step to safeguard this opportunity.”

The appeal must be submitted by 27 December, 2023.

Cllr Lesley Rollings, Chair of the Prosperous Communities Committee and Deputy Leader of West Lindsey District Council, said this decision was the right thing to do to protect our communities. She said: 

“We firmly believe protecting our communities as well as promoting the once in a life-time investment opportunity and associated benefits for the district and beyond, justifies our ongoing fight. 

“We simply can’t forget just how significant this opportunity is for West Lindsey and beyond.  This commercial activity would bring aerospace, aviation, heritage, hospitality, tourism, education, research and much more right here in our County. The proposal by the Home Office puts all this at significant risk. We are dedicated to securing a resolution that aligns with our community's best interests and preserves the potential for positive impact.

“We appreciate the support we have had from our community, our businesses and partners and we hope you will continue to support us.”

At this time, it is not known when the appeal will be heard – however, the council’s Enforcement and Stop Notice remains in place, limiting the work the Home Office can do, including bringing asylum seekers on site.

In the meantime, the council will maintain open dialogue and collaboration with the Home Office to hold it to account and ensure any Home Office proposal is safe, legal and compliant. 

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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