Home Office ignores council order to stop work at RAF Scampton
The council responsible for planning at RAF Scampton is accusing the Home Office of ignoring a legal order to immediately stop work at the former airbase.
West Lindsey District Council says its Enforcement Officers have seen work continuing “at pace” inside the perimeter at the old RAF site.
This is despite claims the council has received written assurances from the Home Office that all work has stopped.
Director of Planning, Regeneration, and Communities at West Lindsey District Council Sally Grindrod-Smith said: “We are observing the site every day and we can still see activity taking place that is in contravention of the Stop Notice.”
“There’s a mixed message coming from the Home Office.
“They’re saying we’re adhering to this, and we’ve stopped work. But we can plainly see, despite not being allowed access to the site, from the perimeter we can see work happening.”
“The challenge for us is crown immunity so the Government themselves is immune from councils being able to take physical legal action and prevent them from doing the work on site.”
The council says the Home Office has not challenged the order.
The Government intends to house 2,000 asylum seekers at RAF Scampton in a plan to reduce the reliance on hotels which is costing the taxpayer £8million a day to maintain.
The council served the Home Office with an Enforcement Notice and a Stop Notice on 22 September for “a breach of planning control” relating to the building of portacabins and invasive groundworks that exceeds planning permission.
Large parts of Scampton including most buildings are protected by Listed Status.
Residents living in the homes originally used by families of the RAF are helping to keep track of movement at the site.
They have set up tents adorned with Union Jacks and complete with camping provisions outside the gates where the base joins the A15.
Sarah Carter from the Save Our Scampton Campaign said: “The people that are making the laws are breaking the laws. We’re taking it upon ourselves to document that they are breaking the law and send it to the relevant place.”
“On the Monday after the Stop Notice, I clocked in one hour, between half six and half seven in the morning, forty-seven vehicles going on. They have not stopped working.”
“We see people going from building to building, vans coming and going, lorries coming and going.”
In a statement, the Home Office said: “We are confident our project, which will house asylum seekers in basic, safe and secure accommodation, meets the planning requirements.