Parish not consulted over plans for asylum centre on North Yorkshire RAF base

Plans for 500 asylum seekers to be housed and processed in a North Yorkshire village were announced without consultation with local figures.

The Home Office announced yesterday that the old RAF base at Linton-on-Ouse would be re-purposed into an asylum reception centre, as part of the Government’s plans to tackle illegal migration.

The village has previously been described as a “ghost town” following the closure of the military base, and the Home Office have said that the plans will create new jobs and bring new investment into the area.

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However, a statement from Linton-on-Ouse Parish Council to the community yesterday morning suggested they had been in the dark about the proposals.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by the RNLI, following a small boat incident in the Channel

The comments shared in a local forum and seen by The Yorkshire Post explained: “The Parish Council were not consulted with regards to this decision and had no prior knowledge of these plans.”

They added: “We understand there will be many questions raised regarding the proposals and we will be working hard to ensure communication lines remain open about the details”.

Local MP Kevin Hollinrake had said that the community needed to be at the “heart” of the project going forward, and that “there are a number of conditions I wanted to ensure were considered in advance of the site opening”.

He said in a statement: “I have made it clear the local community must be at the heart of these plans, prioritising those in the area for any jobs which may be

required at the site.

“At capacity, there should be around 300 jobs created on the site and a number of new business opportunities in catering and other areas.”

He added: “It is crucial that those being processed are housed in suitable and appropriate settings, with recreation and social facilities to enable those individuals to live as normal a life as possible.” He added: “I have been assured the time limit for any asylum seekers to remain the site will be 180 days.”

A Government spokesperson said: “The unprecedented and unacceptable rise in dangerous small boats crossings continues to put huge pressure on the UK’s broken asylum system.

“The asylum reception centre at Linton, North Yorkshire, will provide safe and suitable accommodation for asylum seekers and will contribute towards ending the costly use of hotels.

“The New Plan for Immigration will fix the broken asylum system to make it fair but firm, enabling us to offer support to those most in need while returning those without a genuine right to remain in the UK.”

RAF Linton-on-Ouse had been in operation for almost a century and was most recently used as a fast jet training facility.