April 26, 2023 6.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

‘They’re in for a hell of a fight’ – Scampton councillor responds to Home Secretary

Fight goes on over future of RAF Scampton

By Local Democracy Reporter

A Scampton councillor is remaining defiant over Home Office plans to house up to 2,000 migrants at the village’s former RAF base.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman this morning insisted that the plans would go ahead, despite West Lindsey District Council threatening legal action.

Speaking to BBC reporters, she said it was “unacceptable” that 40,000 asylum seekers were being housed in hotels across the country at a cost of more than £6 million a day.

In response, Councillor Roger Patterson (Conservative) said that the Government seemed “desperate” in their approach.

He continued “I understand the predicament, we need to find places for these people, but to trash local plans for the site like that for short-term gain is absolutely ludicrous.”

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Braintree District Council last week lost a legal challenge for an injunction to stop the Home Office developing a similar military base.

Cllr Paterson added that he doesn’t see anyone ever being housed on the site as local law dictates that the Government can only “override” local planning laws for up to one year before formal planning applications need to be submitted.

As a member of WLDC’s Planning Committee, he believes that said applications will never be approved.

“I can’t see these people ever turning up unless there was some change of law,” he added.

“I can’t see anyone voting for it if it ever came to our committee.”

The plans have scuppered the council’s £300 million “landmark deal” that would preserve, protect and enhance the site – creating thousands of jobs, which the Tory councillor labelled “scandalous”.

He previously told The Lincolnite: “We’ve already seen what the Ministry of Defence (MoD) does to communities in Lincolnshire and West Lindsey when they just pull out and the council is left to pick up the bills and pieces.

“It’s not even about asylum seekers, it could be scouts, it could be anybody. That site is not suitable.”

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