May 9, 2023 2.30 pm This story is over 10 months old

High Court battle to stop RAF Scampton plans on Thursday

Council seeking an injunction against the Home Office

By Local Democracy Reporter

The High Court is to hear West Lindsey District Council’s bid to block the Home Office’s plans to convert RAF Scampton into a migrant camp this Thursday.

The council launched legal action last month, and issued the Home Secretary an ultimatum over plans to house up to 2,000 asylum seekers at the former RAF base and home of the Dambusters.

Residents and local councillors have expressed their anger over the news as it has scuppered a £300 million heritage, tourism and enterprise project which would create thousands of highly-skilled jobs.

There are now concerns over whether it will happen at all.

Last month, Braintree District Council went before the High Court to prevent similar plans from going ahead at a former military base in Weathersfield.

The local authority wanted the judge to grant an injunction preventing 1,700 asylum seekers from being housed on the site, arguing proposals would breach planning control.

However, the court ultimately ruled in favour of the government.

Scampton Councillor Roger Patterson | Photo: James Turner

Scampton Councill Roger Patterson (Conservative) said he is keen to do whatever he can to support the council’s legal action against the Home Office after being re-elected in last week’s local elections.

He said 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 don’t think they [the asylum seekers] will ever turn up because I don’t think the site is in a fit state to be ready within the timeframe,” the Tory Councillor said.

“I hope we win this court case and we get our deal, we get our growth and prosperity, and deliver a bright future for everybody.”

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