May 12, 2023 3.00 pm This story is over 10 months old

Scampton residents ‘ready to move’ after council loses asylum seeker court case

Migrants are being moved onto the former RAF base from July

By Local Democracy Reporter

Scampton residents have told how they want to leave the village as the Home Office’s migrant camp plans move closer.

The council’s legal efforts to get a temporary injunction failed at the High Court yesterday.

The Home Office is free to continue preparations at RAF Scampton while more challenges are heard, with asylum seekers allowed to move onto the site from Monday, July 3.

The historic site will ultimately be able to accommodate up to 2000 people.

Tracey Fyfe, 62, expressed her concern over the safety of her two children and stated that she is keen to move away from the village following the news.

“We were promised that this wasn’t going to happen,” she said.

“Everyone knew in the end that the government would win the legal battle, but it’s just not right.”

RAF Scampton | Photo: James Turner

“I just worry because my two children are autistic and you’ve got all these men coming on site and they don’t understand that they can’t go off with strangers.”

Another resident, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that he also wanted to move away but couldn’t as the plans have devalued his property, leaving him stuck.

He added: “I’ve lost all the value in my house and nothing has even happened yet.

“It’s just taken away our future. We can’t go anywhere.

“If it comes, we’re stuck; if it doesn’t, will anyone want to buy the house anyway?”

Roger Stevens, 68, expressed his mixed views, saying: “It’s unfair for the migrants to be housed in what can only be called a concentration camp.

“I’m not against migrants, but I think it should be sorted out at the source rather than trying to find accommodation for them across the country.

“On the other side of it, it’s a shame that it has put a £300 million project in the bin.”

Some residents also questioned why the base was chosen for such accommodation.

Renate Ingram, 65, stated: “I understand that these people need to go somewhere but come on, we’re in the middle of nowhere.”

Renate Ingram | Photo: James Turner

On the other side of the argument, Chris, 31, said he felt that the ‘Save Our Scampton’ movement was an “overreaction”.

“I think the refugee policy isn’t a bad idea in itself because there needs to be a place to house these people,” he said.

“Having it on the doorstep of a residential area isn’t the best idea. There is Kirton Lindsey up the road, which is completely uninhabited.

“But, as I said, I think there is a lot of overreaction based on the worst-case scenario, and I think a lot of that could come from people trying to claim that it’s all fighting-age people coming here. It’s fear-mongering.”

During the hearing at the High Court yesterday (Thursday), officials from West Lindsey District Council criticised the Home Office’s plans to house migrants at the historic site, describing it as “perverse”.

The council sought an urgent injunction to prevent it from going ahead, arguing that it has scuppered a £300 million heritage, tourism and enterprise project, which would have created thousands of highly-skilled jobs.

The court ultimately ruled in favour of the government. However, councillors insist that they will continue to fight the decision.

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