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Military families forced from their homes as asylum seekers look set to replace them


Military families living on an historic air base have been told they have to leave their homes, as the Home Office looks set to move asylum seekers onto the former RAF facility in a matter of days.

A source living on MDP Wethersfield told the Express newspaper that the deputy head of establishment at the base has informed families that asylum seekers will be brought onto site next week - on April 1.

MDP Wethersfield, formerly known as RAF Wethersfield, was used by British airmen in World War 2, is currently occupied by “about 24 families” according to the source, who asked to remain anonymous. She said “as of last year” no more military families were brought on site to be housed.

It is understood most of the men whose families live on MDP Wethersfield are based at Carver barracks. Despite the barracks informing the families they will be moved, most have “not been told that any housing is available” at alternative locations.

As a result, the families currently living on the base will live alongside asylum seekers who arrive on April 1. The site, which is approximately 800 acres, has had fencing erected “about 100 metres” from the homes.

She said authorities are “putting the fencing around the [disused accommodation] blocks and the cookhouse area. What we've been told… [is] the fences are going up and they are preparing the site for it to be taken over on 1st of April”.

She said the fencing was inadequate, adding: “I don’t think it would keep my dog in”.

RAF personnel are often deployed overseas or work away leaving their partners and children at the base.

The mother said: “Ninety per cent of the time my husband is away, so it’s me on my own with my children.

“It’s the same for most of the wives on the site. Our husbands' jobs mean they are away a lot. You know, it is concerning. We are worried.”

“We don’t feel safe”.

She accused the Home Office of pressing ahead with its plans without consulting with residents or locals.

She said: “So, from the Home Office, we've had nothing and the Home Office have been on-site multiple times and we've seen them on the site.

“They've had tours of the site, but we've had no correspondence whatsoever with the Home Office.”

If they had to move, she claimed it would have a significant impact on the children of the families on the base.

“We have been very honest with our children. They know that we are moving. The youngest is probably the one it will impact the most.”

Some families being told to upsticks have “got children with disabilities”, she added.

“There are a lot of concerns about the impacts that it would have on their children because, you know, their children struggle a lot more with those things.

“So it's quite hard for them, you know, having to uproot their children.”