By John Ensor • 30 March 2023 • 15:50
Dambusters. Credit: Matt Gibson/Shutterstock.com
Locals are up-in-arms about the government’s plan to turn an iconic airbase into temporary housing for asylum seekers, with one complaining that ‘everyone will lose out, including the asylum seekers.’
A High Court injunction to block the move is being mounted by West Lindsey District Council amid fears the move will jeopardise a £300million regeneration project to turn the site into a heritage, aviation and research centre.
Mr Jenrick, confirmed yesterday that 3,700 people would be housed both at Scampton and RAF Wethersfield in Essex, with an extra 1,200 going to a non-military site in Bexhill, East Sussex.
The government said urgent action is needed to reform the broken asylum system but at the same time acknowledges using alternative sites involves difficult decisions.
Locals in Scampton have spoken out against the development.
Greg Algar, landlord of the village’s popular pub, the Dambusters Inn, said: ‘This is staggering incompetence from the Government, and so many people living here, and visiting, are wholeheartedly against it and can’t believe what the village is being forced into having.’
‘The area is steeped in history, and until recently was the best airspace for the Red Arrows, said: ‘For the sake of housing migrants how can they even think about tearing down one of the oldest air bases in the country. We should be preserving our heritage and history, not destroying it.
‘They should not be dismantling such a historic and much-loved site. It is the wrong place. They wouldn’t put them up at Old Trafford. There are options to house these refugees elsewhere.’
Senior project manager Brett Swinfield said: ‘Asylum seekers being placed in the middle of nowhere on the busy A15 road is not an ideal location, it’s madness.
‘I’ve lived in the village for 15 years, it is small and very friendly and refugees will feel out of place.’
The Illegal Migration Bill is designed to stop crossings by ending illegal entry as a route to asylum in the UK. Currently, the cost of housing people in hotels is costing the UK government £6 million a day.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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