Linton on Ouse asylum centre: Council in limbo after Home Office delays

A council trying to stop an asylum seeker centre being opened in a North Yorkshire village is in limbo as the Home Office have failed to respond for a month.

Hambleton District Council served the Home Office with a letter in May informing the department it intends to mount a challenge to stop the centre, proposed for Linton on Ouse, from opening.

But a month on from that letter being served, no response from the Home Office has been received, leaving councillors waiting as they ponder their next steps of legal action.

The centre was announced earlier this year for the old RAF base in the village which was decommissioned last year.

Hambleton District Council served the Home Office with a letter in May informing the department it intends to mount a challenge to stop the centre, proposed for Linton on Ouse, from opening.

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The first of 1,500 asylum seekers were due to arrive at the site on May 30, but at the 11th hour Home Office officials admitted plans to open the centre, which has been widely opposed in the local area, have not been rubber-stamped by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Councillor Mark Robson, leader of Hambleton Council said: “We continue to await a response from the Home Office in relation to the Pre-Action Protocol letter issued a few weeks ago.

“The Home Office has provided a response to the Planning Contravention Notice which our legal team has responded to.

“We continue to seek legal advice and await further information from the Home Office with regard their intentions for the site going forward.

“At present we continue to understand that no final decision has been taken by Ministers to accommodate asylum seekers at RAF Linton and that we will receive at least seven days’ notice from the Home Office should they intend to begin moving people onto the site.

“A definitive decision on the council’s next steps has not yet been made as we are expecting to receive a substantive response to the Pre-Action Protocol letter imminently. Once this response is received, it will be carefully considered and assessed alongside the legal advice the council receives.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel is yet to visit either the village or the centre, The Yorkshire Post understands.

At a meeting last month, officials who attended a public meeting in the village indicated that Ms Patel would visit.

The Home Office was approached for comment.