Council loses High Court fight over migrant plan for disused Dambuster airfield

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RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, as soon as a part of one in every of England’s most well-known RAF bases (Callum Parke/PA)

PA wire

Council leaders have argued that Government plans to make use of land that was as soon as a part of the well-known RAF base to deal with asylum seekers must be scrapped after dropping a High Court battle.

West Lindsey District Council, in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, argued that the choice to make use of land at RAF Scampton airfield, the place the Dambusters had been primarily based through the Second World War, was unlawful.

A High Court choose dominated in opposition to the council on Wednesday.

Mr Justice Thornton thought-about arguments at a current High Court listening to in London.

Braintree District Council in Essex had made an identical criticism about plans for land that was as soon as a part of RAF Wethersfield.

Local resident Gabriel Clarke-Holland additionally challenged Wethersfield’s plans.

The choose additionally dismissed these claims.

The Ministers argued that the claims must be dismissed.

Lawyers representing the councils complained concerning the Ministers’ use of planning guidelines. They mentioned the ministers may depend on “permitted growth rights” as a result of there was no “emergency”.

Lawyers additionally raised issues about migrants being accommodated for longer than the 12 months initially estimated.

Home Office ministers and Level Up, Housing and Communities ministers fought the claims.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the variety of asylum seekers needing lodging has reached unprecedented ranges

Mrs Justice Thornton

“The Secretary of State for the Home Department has a statutory accountability to supply lodging and different assist to asylum seekers and their dependents who would in any other case be in danger,” defined Judge Thornton, in a written ruling.

“Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the variety of asylum seekers needing lodging has reached unprecedented ranges.”

She added: “As a results of the disaster within the asylum system, in January 2023 the Home Office approached the Ministry of Defense and different authorities departments to inquire concerning the availability of belongings from the Crown Estate that may very well be made appropriate within the brief time period to assist them. serve asylum seekers.

“A submission to the immigration minister, dated 27 January 2023, known as for a choice to analyze using RAF Wethersfield and RAF Scampton to accommodate single male asylum seekers.”

Braintree Council mentioned it meant to attraction and was “upset”.

We are after all upset with this end result after months of labor to current our case and proof as we nonetheless consider it isn’t an acceptable web site for a growth on this scale.

Leader of Braintree Council, Graham Butland

Council chief Graham Butland mentioned: “We have labored since March to place a powerful case earlier than the courtroom that the Home Office acted unlawfully in deciding to make use of RAF Wethersfield to deal with asylum seekers.

“We are after all upset with this end result after months of labor to current our case and proof as we nonetheless consider it isn’t an acceptable web site for a growth of this scale as a result of its distant location and the shortage of capability within the companies native.”

Nineteen Lancaster bombers, with a crew of 133 plane, took half in Operation Chastise on the evening of 16 May 1943, often known as the Dambusters Raid.

Led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, the raid focused three dams within the industrialized Ruhr area of Germany utilizing the “bouncing bomb” invented by Barnes Wallis.

They managed to breach the Mohne and Eder dams, and the Sorpe was broken.

A spokesman for West Lindsey council mentioned they must think about choices.

Council chief Trevor Young mentioned: “West Lindsey District Council stays firmly of the view that the RAF Scampton web site shouldn’t be appropriate to accommodate 2,000 single grownup male asylum seekers.

“It was necessary for us to problem the choice taken by the Government in March this 12 months and we put a powerful case earlier than the courtroom.

“We perceive the issues and frustrations of our group.”

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