West Lindsey District Council says the unlawful development of RAF Scampton for asylum accommodation has continued despite a legal Stop Notice in place.
The council has been ‘inundated’ with intelligence from local people sharing evidence of the work continuing to take place on site.
This has been backed up by officers from the Council who were granted permission for a routine site visit to RAF Scampton on Friday, 13, October, under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).
At the site visit the following was observed:
- The number of portacabins sited had dramatically increased since the Council’s visit on 14 September.
- There had been extensive works undertaken to site, fit out and prepare portacabin connections to the utilities.
- It was confirmed that a gas supply would be provided to further support the portacabin development.
- It was also noted that refurbishment works to the existing buildings were almost complete.
The progress observed clearly demonstrated that the Stop Notice has been breached, and work has continued on the site since the issue of the original Stop Notice on 22 September.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Trevor Young explained that the progress observed on site by officers aligns with reports the Council has received from members of the public.
Cllr Young said: “It is clear from our most recent site visit that despite repeated assurances, the Home Office have breached the Stop Notice and continued with the unlawful development of the site at RAF Scampton.
“The Council continues to be inundated with intelligence from the community regarding daily activity and we cannot thank the community enough for their ongoing support through this difficult time.
“We have always been clear that the Home Office must not use RAF Scampton as a site to accommodate asylum seekers until the Judicial Review proceedings have completed. I reiterate that we are now merely two weeks away, surely the logical approach is to allow the justice system to do its job.”
As previously reported, The Home Office plans to use the site to accommodate 2,000 asylum seekers, for an unknown time frame. The Council, along with Braintree District Council and a resident from Weathersfield are challenging the decision through the High Court in London, which is due to start on 31 October 2023.
West Lindsey District Council’s Director of Planning Regeneration and Communities Sally Grindrod-Smith said: “It has been an incredibly frustrating and worrying time for our community. We have had many messages from concerned residents reporting ongoing activity and seeking to understand why the Council and the Police are not taking further action to stop works on site. This is because the site is what is known as ‘Crown Land’. This means that it is owned by the Government and so a local council can not undertake physical enforcement action.
“The Home Office have not challenged the legality of the Stop Notice; however, it is clear they have not adhered to it. This week we have again written to the Home Office to reiterate that the Stop Notice prohibits RAF Scampton from housing asylum seekers until such time as the Stop Notice is withdrawn by the Council.”