Home Office is ordered to halt work to turn the former Dambusters base into accommodation for asylum seekers
- Ministers are planning to house up to 2,000 asylum seekers at RAF Scampton
- The Home Office has now been hit with a legal notice telling it to halt the work
The Home Office has been hit with a legal notice ordering it to halt work converting the former home of the Dambusters into accommodation for asylum seekers.
Town hall bosses have served contractors with a temporary stop notice after a ‘breach of planning control’ at the former RAF Scampton – where the Red Arrows also used to be based.
Ministers are planning to house up to 2,000 asylum seekers there. But West Lindsey District Council says work to prepare the site in Lincolnshire – which included moving in accomodation blocks – had broken rules over listed buildings and archaeology.
It said the breaches related to the installation of fences, ‘intrusive’ surveying works, groundworks and connections to utilities which had ‘the potential to cause irreversible damage to important heritage assets’.
The 617 Squadron, known as The Dambusters, was formed at the airfield and famed for its mission in May 1943 by 19 Lancaster bombers to destroy three dams in the Ruhr Valley with ‘bouncing bombs’.
The Home Office has been hit with a legal notice ordering it to halt work converting RAF Scrampton into accommodation for asylum seekers
The 617 Squadron, known as The Dambusters, was formed at RAF Scampton and famed for its mission in May 1943 by 19 Lancaster bombers to destroy three dams in the Ruhr Valley
Sally Grindrod-Smith, the local authority’s director of planning, said the Home Office had ‘not provided the necessary information or reassurances’.
The stop notice meant work must halt with immediate effect ‘until we are furnished with details of the proposed works and can determine whether additional planning consents are required’, she added.
The notice was displayed at the site at 7am on Friday and would remain in force for 28 days unless withdrawn earlier.
Scampton was one of two surplus military bases which the Home Office announced in March would be repurposed for housing asylum seekers.
Ministers said accommodating migrants across Scampton and Wethersfield in Essex, as well as the Bibby Stockholm barge moored off Dorset, would reduce reliance on expensive hotels. The first of up to 1,700 asylum seekers planned to be housed at Wethersfield arrived in July.
West Lindsey District Council and Braintree District Council have mounted challenges to the proposals, with a judicial review to be heard at the High Court on October 31. They claim the sites are unsuitable for the plans.
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