Home Secretary Suella Braverman urged to halt RAF Scampton conversion amidst council objections and internal warnings of “significant challenges.”
West Lindsey District Council has expressed its objection to a contentious proposal to convert RAF Scampton into large-scale asylum seeker accommodation, aimed at reducing the £6 million daily cost of housing asylum seekers in hotels.
The Home Office plan, led by Home Secretary Suella Braverman, could accommodate up to 2,000 asylum seekers.
The council had previously secured £300 million from a developer to transform RAF Scampton into a multi-purpose site for tourism, aviation, education, and research.
According to the council’s legal team, the Home Office’s plan threatens to “kill off” these redevelopment efforts, a move they describe as “perverse”.
The dispute has reached the High Court, where Mr Justice Kerr rejected the council’s request for an interim injunction to halt the Home Office from advancing their plans.
Earlier in February, an internal email from a senior official at the Resettlement, Asylum Support and Integration Directorate (RASID) was brought to light.
The official advised Braverman to halt the RAF Scampton project, citing “significant challenges to progress.” The email underscored the potential impact on redevelopment plans.
However, Home Office lawyers defended their approach in court, insisting the proposed regeneration project was considered by the Home Secretary.
A department spokesperson argued that the military sites would provide “cheaper and more suitable accommodation” and are “more manageable for communities,” due to on-site healthcare, catering facilities, 24/7 security, and purpose-built, safe and secure accommodation.
West Lindsey District Council’s struggle mirrors that of Braintree District Council, which plans to appeal a High Court decision allowing the Home Office to convert Wethersfield Airfield into asylum seeker housing.
RAF Scampton holds historical significance, as it was the base for the Dambusters raid in May 1943 and the training ground for the Red Arrows display team.