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Home Breaking Campaigners in a North Yorkshire village are “overjoyed” after the government announced that plans to convert a former RAF base into an asylum seeker centre have been halted

Campaigners in a North Yorkshire village are “overjoyed” after the government announced that plans to convert a former RAF base into an asylum seeker centre have been halted


After raising concerns about the Linton-on-Ouse proposals to repurpose the ancient RAF site as an asylum seeker lodging centre, North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zo Metcalfe received a reaction from the Home Office.

Kevin Foster MP, the Home Office Minister for Secure and Legal Migration, has reaffirmed that the site will not accept asylum seekers until it is judged safe and meets all legal requirements, including planning standards. He has said that after this has been satisfied the Home Office would make an official judgement on whether to utilise the land for asylum accommodation.

In a statement, Ms Metcalfe said: “I am pleased that the Minister has replied to my letters outlining my concerns over the proposals to repurpose the old Linton-on-Ouse RAF base as an asylum accommodation centre.

“In his letter, Kevin Foster MP, Minister for Safe and Legal Migration has confirmed that they will not accommodate asylum seekers at the RAF Linton-on-Ouse site until it is safe and conforms to all legal requirements, including planning. Only once that is all in place will they make a formal decision on whether to use the site for asylum accommodation.”

“He also recognises that the projected use of Linton-on-Ouse would result in greater policing requirements, and that the expenses connected with this should be covered by the Government,” she added.

“I very much welcome the Minister’s commitment. I will continue to work closely with the Government and communities at Linton-on-Ouse to ensure that residents on and off the site are safe, and feel safe – and that the costs of any additional demand on police and fire services, are paid from central funds.”

The plans to house up to 1,500 asylum seekers in the unused RAF site has sparked outrage in the quiet village but Olga Matthias of the Linton-on-Ouse Action Group said she and other campaigners were “over the moon” about the recent development.

“We think this is the first nail in the coffin”, she added. “There are so many flaws with it and we are glad that it appears like finally sense is beginning to prevail.

“Hopefully they will determine that it is not safe owing to the site and the location. As we have stated all along – it is the wrong plan and the wrong area.”

The Home Office has maintained that the asylum centre is necessary and will include on-site facilities including transport links to nearby towns and cities, such as York, for those staying at the former military base. After six months, asylum seekers who remain at the centre will be relocated.

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