Home Office to move asylum seekers to Yorkshire village in weeks despite concerns from residents

Hambleton District Council asked the Government to reconsider the proposal after concern from residents in the village of Linton-on-Ouse

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The Home Office intends to move 60 asylum seekers into a disused North Yorkshire RAF base by the end of the month, the council has said.

Hambleton District Council says it has asked the Government to pause the controversial proposal “immediately” amid opposition from residents in the village of Linton-on-Ouse.

Ministers announced plans for the new accommodation and processing centre last month.

The Home Office says the asylum reception centre will provide “safe and cost-effective” accommodation for single adult males who are claiming asylum in the UK and meet the relevant suitability criteria.

A view of RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire.
A view of RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire.

According to The Times, the reception centre will hold 500 migrants in its first year, with a total capacity of 1,500. In 2020, the village had an estimated population of around 800.

Hambleton District Council previously announced it was seeking a judicial review of the plans, and says it has now appointed a legal team.

A view of RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire.
A view of RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire.

Cllr Mark Robson, leader of the council, said: “At a meeting late this morning, we, along with the PFCC and local MP have been told by the Home Office that they intend for 60 people to arrive at the centre at the end of this month.

“We have in the strongest possible terms asked that the Home Office pause this proposal immediately to allow for consultation to be carried out and are awaiting their response to this ask.”

Cllr Robson added: “As leader of this council I am in no doubt about how much worry and concern there is in the local community and the surrounding areas about the Government’s proposal for a centre for asylum seekers in Linton-on-Ouse.

“I know people are understandably concerned and want answers as quickly as possible and I want to be clear that we are working to get these answers as quickly as we possibly can, given the legal process which is under way.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The asylum reception centre at Linton-on-Ouse will help end our reliance on expensive hotels which are costing the taxpayer almost £5 million a day. We are engaging with local stakeholders about the use of the site.

“The New Plan for Immigration will fix this broken asylum system, allowing us to support those in genuine need while preventing abuse of the system and deterring illegal entry to the UK.”