Glasgow & West Scotland

'Dungavel replacement' plans unveiled

Removal centre Image copyright Grove Developments
Image caption The plans would see the construction of a 51-bed short term holding facility at Glasgow Airport

Plans for an immigration removal centre next to Glasgow Airport have been unveiled.

The UK Home Office wants to build a 51-bed "short-term holding facility" on Abbotsinch Road to house those awaiting removal from the country.

It follows the announcement last month that the controversial Dungavel removal centre in Lanarkshire is to close in 2017.

The plans are currently being considered by Renfrewshire Council.

If approved, the new building would be constructed on a former British Airways social club, known as The Clansman, and feature 20 bedrooms and ancillary accommodation over two floors.

The plans say the building would have to be "robust in order to hold and safeguard individuals detained by Home Office Immigration enforcement".

The accommodation, which would be encircled by a 3.6m fence, would feature 12 bedrooms for male detainees and five for females as well as two bedrooms for those classed as vulnerable and one for a disabled person.

The Home Office said the "vast majority" of stays there would be for less than a week.

UK Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said the facility would provide easy access to London airports, "from where most removals take place, meaning those with no right to be in the UK can be removed with less delay".

Mr Goodwill also said the closure of Dungavel would result in "significant savings to the public purse".

Dungavel, which opened near Strathaven in 2001, can hold up to 249 detainees.

It is the only such centre in Scotland and has been the subject of numerous protests, which branded the site "racist and inhumane"

Image caption Dungavel detention centre is due to close next year

Much of the criticism concentrated on the detention of children at the facility, before the practice was ended in 2010.

More recently it has focused on the length of time detainees were held at the facility and the conditions inside.

Last year, the BBC revealed that dozens of failed asylum seekers had been held at Dungavel for months and in some cases more than a year.

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