ABOVE: The Home Office and its contractors are deemed to have breached planning control regulations during ongoing work at former RAF Scampton

 West Lindsey District Council has issued a Temporary Stop Notice, effective for 28 days as of 8 September 2023, to prevent the Home Office from continuing with development work at RAF Scampton.

The former home of the Red Arrows had been earmarked by the Home Office, alongside a similar site at Wethersfield, to house single adult male asylum seekers. Under proposed plans, these ‘surplus military sites’ would provide ‘basic and functional accommodation’ for those ‘who enter the UK illegally on small boats’. However, the plans have faced criticism, with Sally Grindrod-Smith (Director of Planning, Regeneration and Communities at West Lindsey District Council) having previously noted that the council was ‘in constant dialogue with the Home Office to seek to demonstrate to them that RAF Scampton would not be an appropriate site for asylum accommodation’.

However, with the council now believing there to have been ‘a breach of planning control relating specifically to the Listed Buildings and archaeology on the site,’ with alleged breaches deemed to have ‘potential to cause irreversible damage to important heritage assets,’ a Temporary Stop Notice has been issued. This requires ‘the Home Office and all associated contractors to cease all works in respect of the Listed Buildings, all intrusive surveying works, ground works and the installation of fencing on the site’.

Noting that the council had not been provided with details of ongoing work or the requisite schedules or summaries of surveys ‘despite repeated requests and service of a Planning Contravention Notice,’ Grindrod-Smith explained that “all development work should halt on site with immediate effect”.

She added that the council has not yet been approached to determine whether Listed Building Consent is required for works currently being undertaken onsite, explaining that although the council is “concerned about the future of the significant and important heritage on site at RAF Scampton,” the Home Office “has not provided the necessary information or resources”.

The Temporary Stop Notice will run until 5 October, during which time the council urges the Home Office and its contractors to ‘engage with the Local Planning Authority so that an appropriate assessment of the development may be undertaken’.