April 19, 2023 6.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

Council eyes Scampton legal action as another takes Home Office to court

The Home Office hasn’t responded to WLDC

By Local Democracy Reporter

West Lindsey District Council is yet to receive any response from the Home Office after it threatened legal action over its plans for RAF Scampton.

It comes as Braintree District Council in Essex have today (Wednesday, April 19) taken the Home Office and Ministry of Defence (MoD) to court in a bid to stop a migrant centre being created at RAF Weathersfield.

It’s believed the council will be asking for an injunction against the two government institutions and no migrants will be allowed onto the site until after the hearing.

West Lindsey District Council is eying similar action over RAF Scampton.

The local authority said it was considering legal action, claiming the site isn’t suitable to house up to 2,000 asylum seekers.

A pre-action protocol letter was issued shortly after the official announcement but the Home Office said it was unable to make any substantive response by the deadline of Thursday, April 6.

It would instead would seek to reply by Friday, April 14 – but that date has also now passed.

Council Leader Owen Bierley (Conservative) said that any action taken would be “subject to advice” but believes the sooner it is done the better.

Cllr Owen Bierley | Photo: Submitted

The council has pledged to safeguard the future of RAF Scampton following the adoption of the Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategy Planning Committee on Friday.

A specific ‘opportunity area’ policy for the former base was included in the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan, which provides framework to ensure any future development of the site is sustainable and holistically planned.

The plans for RAF Scampton have thrown a spanner into the gears of an ambitious £300 million heritage, tourism and enterprise project which leaders called a ‘landmark deal’.

There are now concerns over whether it will happen at all, although Scampton Councillor Roger Patterson (Conservative) said he remains optimistic that the redevelopment could still happen at some point in the future.

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