Council halts work on RAF Scampton

By Ellie Ames | 08 September 2023

West Lindsey DC has ordered the Home Office to stop work to convert a former military base into accommodation for asylum seekers.

The local authority issued a temporary stop notice over the development of RAF Scampton, where the Government plans to house up to 2,000 asylum seekers.

West Lindsey said it considered there to have been a breach of planning control relating specifically to the listed buildings and archaeology on the site.

The alleged breaches include the installation of permanent fencing, intrusive surveying works, groundworks and connections to utilities, which the council said have the potential to cause ‘irreversible damage’ to heritage assets.

Unless it is withdrawn, the legal notice means the Home Office and all contractors must cease works immediately for 28 days.

Director of planning, regeneration and communities at West Lindsey, Sally Grindrod-Smith, said: ‘The council is concerned about the future of the significant and important heritage on site at RAF Scampton and the Home Office has not provided the necessary information or reassurances.

'Unfortunately, we have been left with no alternative but to issue a temporary stop notice.’

The Home Office said it was ‘carefully considering this implications’ of the notice.

A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘Delivering accommodation on surplus military sites provides cheaper and more orderly, suitable accommodation for those arriving in small boats while helping to reduce the use of hotels.

'We are confident our project, which will house asylum seekers in basic, safe and secure accommodation, meets the planning requirements.’

A two-day judicial review of Home Office plans for the former airbase is due to take place at the High Court next month.

The High Court will also hear from Braintree DC over plans to accomodate asylum seekers at RAF Wethersfield.

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