March 16, 2023 12.00 pm This story is over 15 months old

Over 2,000 sign petition in 24hrs to stop RAF Scampton migrant centre plans

Clear public message against the Home Office’s plan

By Local Democracy Reporter

The local community are showing strength in numbers in their defence of the RAF Scampton site, as a petition to stop the base from becoming an asylum seeker holding facility hits 2,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.

A petition was set up in response to government plans to utilise the retired RAF Scampton base as a centre for asylum seekers waiting for their applications to be processed.

The RAF base, which was closed and retired at the end of 2022, would be used to house some 1,500 asylum seekers, as the government look to accelerate their controversial pledge to clamp down on the number of small boats arriving on British shores from foreign nations.

The Home Office’s proposals have been widely condemned across the local community, particularly given that it looks to scupper plans for a £300 million redevelopment and preservation of RAF Scampton.

The asylum seeker refuge would go in the space zone, according to Scampton Holdings boss Peter Hewitt.

West Lindsey District Council unveiled ambitious plans alongside Scampton Holdings for the future of the base earlier in March, which would see job creation and the maintaining of the site as an operational airfield.

The Home Office has been accused of leaving the local authority in the dark over RAF Scampton plans, while Peter Hewitt of Scampton Holdings has called the migrant centre idea “barking mad”.

Hamish Falconer, son of Labour lord peer Charlie, won the backing of the local party to become Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Lincoln | Photo: @Hamish4Lincs

This stance has been supported by Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Lincoln, Hamish Falconer, who set up a petition to “stop RAF Scampton being turned into a detention camp”.

At the time of reporting, the petition has amassed more than 2,100 signatures in less than 24 hours – highlighting the community’s feelings on the Home Office’s RAF Scampton vision.

Mr Falconer says migrant camp plans would “destroy” Scampton Holdings’ idea for the base, calling on the Conservatives to “publicly abandon this damaging proposal”.

Historian James Holland has claimed that the air space clearance for the Red Arrows over their former home, RAF Scampton, will be revoked on April 1 – prompting suggestions that the Home Office may well be getting their wish.

The RAF has been contacted about rumours of the Red Arrows’ air space clearance.

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