Villagers' fury at decision to turn RAF Scampton into asylum seeker ... trends now
Villagers have criticised the Home Office's decision to turn an iconic airbase into temporary housing for asylum seekers, with one complaining that 'everyone will lose out'.
RAF Scampton, which was the Dambusters squadron's HQ and housed the Red Arrows for 20 years, will be used to accommodate 2,000 asylum seekers despite significant opposition from locals and Conservative MPs.
West Lindsey District Council fears the move will jeopardise a £300million regeneration project to turn the site into a heritage, aviation and research centre - and is now plotting a High Court injunction to block the move.
Meanwhile, residents of the tiny Lincolnshire village of Scampton argued the decision 'doesn't make sense for anybody'.
'Everyone involved is going to lose out, including the asylum seekers,' one man complained.
The main entrance to RAF Scampton, an iconic airbase in Lincolnshire that was once home to the Dambusters
One Scampton resident complained residents would not feel 'safe' following the move
Another pointed out the lack of local activities or amenities for the asylum seekers, telling GB News: 'There's nothing to do on the site, there's nothing to do in the village apart from the pub. There's not even a shop.'
One woman complained locals would no longer feel 'safe', while a second said that while she had a 'huge amount of sympathy' for asylum seekers she felt 'indignation and annoyance'.
Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, confirmed yesterday that 3,700 people would be housed at Scampton and RAF Wethersfield in Essex, with an extra 1,200 going to a separate site in East Sussex.
The third location is a former prison in Bexhill that went on to be used as a training facility by the United Arab Emirates.
Mr Jenrick said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was 'bringing forward proposals' to use the Catterick Garrison barracks to house asylum seekers in his constituency to show 'leadership'.
Latest figures show the cost of migrant hotels was running at more than £6.3million a day in December, after a record 45,700 Channel arrivals last year.
The new sites are expected to house fresh arrivals across the Channel rather than asylum seekers already living in hotels.
Charities said the military accommodation is 'grossly inadequate' to house people who have fled war.
RAF Scampton will be used to accommodate 2,000 asylum seekers despite significant opposition from locals and Conservative MPs
Senior Conservative Sir Edward Leigh responded by saying an injunction will be sought against the 'thoroughly bad decision' in Lincolnshire, after a similar threat came from Essex.
Mr Jenrick told the Commons the Government remained committed to its 'legal obligations' to house the destitute but said 'we're not prepared to go further'.
'Accommodation for migrants should meet their essential living needs and nothing more. Because we cannot risk becoming a magnet for the millions of people who are displaced and seeking better economic prospects,' he said.
The minister insisted the sites are 'undoubtedly in the national interest' and said 'single adult males' only will be forced into the barracks, as he seeks to reduce a hotel bill he put at £2.3 billion a year.
Using repurposed barrack blocks and portacabins, Scampton and Wethersfield will be used to accommodate around 200 people initially before capacity 'gradually' increases.
Sir Edward, a former minister who represents Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, said using the former home of the Dambusters RAF squadron