Linton-on-Ouse asylum centre Parliamentary debate due

  • Published
Protesters at meeting
Image caption,
Residents in Linton-on-Ouse have expressed concern the rural community is not suitable for such a large number of asylum seekers

An MP has said he will use a parliamentary debate later to urge the government to halt plans to place asylum seekers at a former RAF station.

The Home Office intends to use the site at Linton-on-Ouse, near York, for up to 1,500 people, with 60 set to arrive by the end of this month.

Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake has previously said it would "devastate" the community.

The proposals are part of the government's new asylum policy.

The plans, first revealed in April, have been heavily criticised over concerns about the impact on the local area, lack of facilities and lack of consultation.

Officials intend to eventually house up to 1,500 single men at the former RAF site on the outskirts of the village while their asylum applications are processed.

Mr Hollinrake, who represents Thirsk and Malton, said he had secured an adjournment debate in Westminster to ask the prime minister and home secretary to think again on the "totally unsuitable" plans.

The MP added he had also secured further meetings with officials at the Home Office to press for mitigations "such as 24/7 policing, CCTV in the village along with other measures."

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The council is considering a legal challenge to the Home Office's decision

The Home Office has insisted the centre would go ahead and would "help end our reliance on expensive hotels which are costing the taxpayer £4.7m a day".

It added it was "engaging with local stakeholders about the use of the site" and that the base would provide "safe and self-sufficient accommodation".

Civil servants have held meetings in the village, but were booed at one held last Thursday, though they said the Home Secretary Priti Patel was willing to meet residents to hear their concerns.

Hambleton District Council has been seeking legal advice on whether it could mount a legal challenge to the government's plans for the base.

Mr Hollinrake said following a community meeting on Saturday he was "hopeful a letter for action for judicial review" would be issued shortly.

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