March 7, 2023 5.30 pm This story is over 15 months old

Home Office keeping council in dark over RAF Scampton plans

Unconfirmed rumours of housing asylum seekers

West Lindsey District Council is still none the wiser about asylum seeker plans at RAF Scampton, Gainsborough’s MP has claimed.

The Home Office is considering using the disused airbase to house people claiming asylum, according to reports in the national press.

This came as a surprise to the council who yesterday unveiled plans for a regeneration which could create thousands of jobs and attract millions of investment on the site.

Sir Edward Leigh, who represents the constituency, strenuously complained in Parliament about the unexpected detention centre placement.

One of the exits at RAF Scampton, near Lincoln | Photo: Ian S

“Although it’s been all over the press this morning, West Lindsey District Council has not been informed officially that the Home Office is planning to place migrants in the former RAF Scampton,” he told the House of Commons.

“We have just announced, after two years of work, a £300m scheme to have the best ever handover of an RAF base – the home of the Dambusters, business, tourism, heritage.

“Will the Home Secretary assure me that if she overrides our objections and places migrants here, she will work with me and the council to ensure that this is strictly temporary, and will not upset the best deal that’s ever to north Lincolnshire?”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman dodged the question on RAF Scampton’s future.

She responded: “The Immigration minister is working intensively to secure bespoke, appropriate and sustainable asylum accommodation around the United Kingdom.

“We are working with local authorities and MPs to make the right decision for communities. That’s why all dialogue is welcome.”

West Lindsey District Council hasn’t responded to The Lincolnite’s question over whether they have been formally notified of asylum plans yet.

Labour’s candidate for Lincoln MP, Hamish Falconer, said he was “amazed” RAF Scampton was being considered.

“RAF Scampton should continue to play a role for our city as a high tech centre of aviation excellence, not be reborn as a penal colony,” he said.

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney was also contacted for comment.

Artists’ impressions have been released of the council’s vision for the airbase, with sectors for heritage, business, space and defence, and education.

It claims that it will attract £300m of private investment and create a highly-skilled jobs boom.

MyLocal Lincolnshire is the new home of The Lincolnite. Download the app now.