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Home Office slashes plans to house 2,000 asylum seekers in airbase


A plan to house thousands of migrants at Britain’s most iconic airbase is to be drastically reduced after a year of campaigning, according to a local MP.

RAF Scampton, a former military base in Lincolnshire, has been earmarked for plans to house 2,000 asylum seekers since as early as March 2023, but new information indicates only 800 are now due.

Sir Edward Leigh MP for Gainsborough, which covers Scampton, shared a letter to his website from the Home Office stating a “review of occupancy capacity”.

However, the letter, from Thomas Pursglove MP, Minister of State at the Home Office, also highlights an additional 300 people could be housed on-site during “unexpected, higher-than-forecast levels of intake”.

The letter states that the number of migrants will be in line with Wethersfield, another former base where asylum seekers are already being accommodated.

The plan has received criticism from local politicians and the community which says a £300million regeneration deal is at risk if the Government is successful.

The MP says he is meeting with the Home Office this week to discuss the plan.

The local council has previously lost a legal challenge to halt plans when a High Court Judge found Home Office plans to be lawful. The council is appealing the decision.

The Government is currently seeking a Special Development Order so it can continue its development at RAF Scampton in achieving planning permission.

The men of 617 Squadron flew the legendary Dambuster raids from RAF Scampton during the Second World War.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We remain committed to housing asylum seekers at Wethersfield and Scampton, and will manage occupancy at the sites while prioritising welfare and integration.

“We are working closely to listen to the local communities’ views and reduce the impact of these sites, including through providing onsite security and financial support.”