Controversial former RAF base earmarked for 2,000 asylum seekers finds ground gases and unexploded artillery on the land, minister claims

  • RAF Scampton – due to house 2,000 asylum seekers – has gas and bombs on site

A former RAF base contraversionally earmarked to house 2,000 asylum seekers has had ground gases and unexploded artillery found on the land, a minister has claimed.

Lincolnshire’s RAF Scampton is one of the three sites the Home Office intends to use to house asylum seekers in the hope it will be cheaper than using hotels.

Between the three sites, the Bibby Stockholm barge in Portland, Dorset, the Wethersfield former military base in Essex and RAF Scampton, ministers wanted 3,000 asylum seeker accommodation places.

The Bibby Stockholm and Wethersfield combined only house less than 1,000 people – and none are at Scampton, with the first 60 due to arrive in the next few weeks.

A letter from housing minister Lee Rowley to West Lindsey District Council, which contains RAF Scampton, said there are ‘potential risks to human health arising from ground gases, UXO (unexploded ordnance) and ground contamination which could affect both workers on the site and asylum seekers’.

controversial former raf base earmarked for 2,000 asylum seekers finds ground gases and unexploded artillery on the land, minister claims

Former military base RAF Scampton (pictured) earmarked to house 2,000 asylum seekers has had ground gases and unexploded artillery found on the land, a minister has claimed

controversial former raf base earmarked for 2,000 asylum seekers finds ground gases and unexploded artillery on the land, minister claims

Migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel on Saturday, March 30

controversial former raf base earmarked for 2,000 asylum seekers finds ground gases and unexploded artillery on the land, minister claims

A letter from housing minister Lee Rowley (pictured) to West Lindsey District Council, which contains RAF Scampton, said there are ‘potential risks to human health arising from ground gases, UXO (unexploded ordnance) and ground contamination which could affect both workers on the site and asylum seekers’

The letter, seen by the Guardian, continues: ‘These risks could mean the site is not suitable for its intended use which could give rise to likely significant effects associated with human health.’

Mr Rowley’s letter adds that mitigations are being put in to make the RAF base safe, but that in the ‘unlikely event of failure’, people at the site will be moved from the affected location.

The Home Officer also sent a letter to the council this month which said that the use of a military base could lead to trauma being triggered for some asylum seekers.

The letter said: ‘Those accommodated at the site are likely to be aware that it was formerly used as a military barracks. For some asylum seekers this association may trigger memories of past mental traumas in their home countries which is why the site is unlikely to be deemed suitable for those who are vulnerable or have serious mental health needs.’

The council is against the Home Office plans to turn RAF Scampton into accommodation for asylum seekers, saying it could endanger a future heritage scheme for the base which was the home of the Dambusters and has five Grade-II listed buildings on its grounds.

West Lindsey council said the plan to up the population in the rural area is ‘unsustainable and inappropriate’, referencing the contamination.

Worries over ‘irreversible harm… to heritage assets with archaeological interest’ were also raised by council officials.

controversial former raf base earmarked for 2,000 asylum seekers finds ground gases and unexploded artillery on the land, minister claims

A protest banner is seen near a protest camp outside the main gate of RAF Scampton, which was the former home of the British Red Arrows and Dambusters squadron

controversial former raf base earmarked for 2,000 asylum seekers finds ground gases and unexploded artillery on the land, minister claims

The entrance gate to RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire is pictured here

Home office statistics shows that there were around 46,000 asylum seekers in hotels by the end of last year at a cost of around £8million each day.

A report recently published by the National Audit Office said that housing people in RAF Scampton will cost £45.1million more than if they were to do it in hotels.

A government spokesperson said: ‘The asylum system is under unprecedented pressure, brought about by a significant increase in dangerous and illegal journeys into the country.

‘As part of the conditions of the Special Development Order for RAF Scampton, a number of surveys will be undertaken prior to occupation.

‘The safety of individuals remains our absolute priority, and we reiterate that any accommodation used in response to the increasing pressures on the UK asylum system will be fit for purpose and meet all relevant housing and health and safety rules.’

Read more

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Paul Hosford: Helen McEntee's future depends on the streets of Dublin remaining peaceful

Paul Hosford: Helen McEntee’s future depends on the streets of Dublin remaining peaceful The issue of policing in Dublin has been thrown into sharp focus following the horrific stabbing of ... Read more »

Five hospitalised following 'serious' two vehicle road traffic collision

The collision occurred on Monday morning. (stock image) Five people have been hospitalised following a two vehicle road traffic collision on Monday. Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to the collision, ... Read more »

Challenge: Try to find the hidden cat in a very old building

Challenge: Try to find the hidden cat in a very old building (Photo: Reproduction/Reddit) Only people with advanced observation skills can identify the hidden cat in this very old building. ... Read more »

Man arrested following suspected cocaine seizure in Galway worth €56,000

A man has been arrested following a seizure of cocaine with a value of €56,000 in Galway on Sunday evening. Gardaí seized the drugs during a search at a residence ... Read more »

Parkinson's Disease Warning Signs: What To Look Out For

generic doctor image Overview A chronic and progressive movement disorder that initially causes tremor in one hand, stiffness or slowing of movement. Symptoms If you or someone you know is ... Read more »

Man caught with over €1M worth of cocaine in van has jail time doubled in appeal

A man who was caught with over €1 million in cocaine in a “sophisticated” operation where the drugs were hidden in a modified compartment in his van has had his ... Read more »

Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd announces he will stand down after the next General Election

File image of Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd. FINE GAEL TD Fergus O’Dowd has announced that he will stand down at the next General Election. O’Dowd started his political career ... Read more »
Top List in the World