Yorkshire village dubbed 'ghost town' to become UK's Channel migrant hub

Linton-on-Ouse is soon expected to welcome 500 asylum seekers as part of a fresh Government approach on immigration

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A Yorkshire village, dubbed a “ghost town”, is to become the UK’s Channel migrant reception centre.

Linton-on-Ouse in the north of the county has become somewhat of an abandoned area since its RAF base closed back in 2020.

More than 150 homes have been abandoned in the village, while the local pub has closed and it’s only shop up for sale.

But the quiet village is soon expected to welcome 500 asylum seekers as part of a fresh Government scheme on immigration.

The immigrants will be housed in the former base, which is soon to be turned into a reception centre.

The former RAF base in Linton-on-Ouse
The former RAF base in Linton-on-Ouse
The village has been described as a "ghost town"
The village has been described as a "ghost town"

But the decision to house asylum seekers in the village has been met with a mixed response from locals.

Local engineer Stuart Carter said: “Crime was one of the things we got told about. People were very concerned about their families and their property.

“This coming along now is not going to improve things.”

While local Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake said he understood why people had concerns.

Mr Hollinrake said: “I have been assured the time limit for any asylum seekers to remain at the site will be 180 days and I have ensured the minister is clear this must be stuck to, to ensure those waiting for decisions are not unduly delayed.

“It is crucial those being processed are housed in suitable and appropriate settings, with recreation and social facilities to enable those individuals to live as normal a life as possible.”

Others residents have backed the idea, including 65-year-old Jane Smith.

Ms Smith said: “(The houses) should be filled with whoever needs them, and we’re a lovely friendly village so whoever comes the majority of us will welcome.

“As most of us are concerned, it’s a crime to have empty houses and we need to get them filled up as soon as possible.”