RAF Scampton: Unexploded bombs and toxic gases pose risk to incoming migrants, letter warns

RAF Scampton: Unexploded bombs and toxic gases pose risk to incoming migrants, letter warns

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Will Hollis

By Will Hollis

Published: 04/04/2024

- 17:40

The former RAF airbase has been earmarked to house 800 asylum seekers

The risk of unexploded munitions and toxic gases have been identified as a risk to the health of workers and incoming asylum seekers at a former airbase, a letter has revealed.

It describes that the risks present at RAF Scampton “could mean the site is not suitable for its intended use” as asylum accommodation, despite them not being “likely to be significant”.

The letter, first published in the Guardian, is addressed to Ian Knowles, Chief Executive of West Lindsey District Council on behalf of Lee Rowley MP and Minister of State for Housing, Planning and Building Safety.

The Home Office has selected the site in Lincolnshire, as well as others, to be used for housing asylum seekers in order to ease the burden on hotels.

\u200bRAF Sampton and letter

Unexploded bombs and toxic gases have been flagged as potential risks to incoming migrants

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However, the suitability of the site has been questioned by the local community and politicians.

Other risks identified in the letter, which related to the Environmental Impact Assessment at the site include damage to heritage assets such as the grave of Guy Gibson’s dog and “major accidents” due to protests or demonstrations.

The Home Office has submitted a Special Development Order to gain the planning permission needed to alter the site to accommodate the arrivals for approximately three years plus six months of decommissioning.

Letter addressed to Ian Knowles

Letter addressed to Ian Knowles from Lee Rowley MP

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West Linsey District Council has been approached for comment.

It comes as Lincolnshire County Council’s Chief Executive Debbie Barnes Claimed in a meeting of the executive that the first cohort of asylum seekers could arrive in summer, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Earlier this year, Sir Edward Leigh MP for Gainsborough released a letter from the Home Office stating a reduction in asylum seekers expected at Scampton down to 800 from 2,000.

The former airbase was home to the Dambusters and later the Red Arrows.

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