March 28, 2023 12.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

“Stand with us”: Call to arms over RAF Scampton plans as petition nears 50k signatures

Communications at the highest levels

RAF Scampton developers have issued a call to arms as a petition against asylum seeker housing nears 50,000.

Scampton Holdings Limited was the winning bidder for the site, working with West Lindsey District Council, and wants to bring £300million of investment to the area.

However, just days after the plans were announced, the Government confirmed the station was on a shortlist of locations it was looking at to house 1,500 asylum seekers.

In a new statement, Scampton Holdings Chairman Peter Hewitt said: “As we approach the 80th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid it is of paramount importance that the site is not only preserved but developed to improve the prospects of this and future generations.

“We stand on the precipice of a rare and unique opportunity to change the long-term prospects of Lincolnshire and its community for the better.

“Stand with us as we fight to preserve British heritage and honour the legacy of the brave Service personnel who fought so fiercely for the freedoms and parliamentary democracy that are at the core of our Great Britain.”

Plans for the site would bring in £300m investment, said WLDC and SHL.

The developers are talking to government officials including Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kemi Badenoch.

On Monday, Sir Edward Leigh MP met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, however, was unable to give a “committed response”.

Save Our Scampton signs have started to appear in the area. | Image: Melanie & David Neham

As of Tuesday morning the petition to “Stop RAF Scampton Being Turned into a Detention Camp” had just passed 48,000 signatures.

Organiser Hamish Falconer, who is also Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for the next General Elections in Lincoln, said: “Two weeks on with thousands of jobs at risk and thousands of lives affected, the Conservatives should be able to do better than to offer “no commitments” on the future of RAF Scampton.

“I was with the concerned community in Scampton today: they want the local plan to go ahead.”

Scampton Holdings has also said the proposals could render the their plans for the 800 acre “impossible”.

“SHL and WLDC are dismayed that the Home Office proposals, for what is ultimately a temporary use for the site, are even being considered given the scale of investment that is ready to be delivered in this important site.

Their proposal would see the continued use of Scampton as an operational airfield, with investment across four key business areas:

  • Commercial activity, aerospace and aviation;
  • Heritage;
  • Hospitality and tourism; and
  • Education and research.

SHL’s vision for the site said it would look to protect, promote and enhance the heritage assets and community facilities while ensuring there was a ‘whole site’ approach towards carbon neutrality, maintaining the site as one whole entity or campus and developing a strong tourism and hospitality offering.

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