district council has ordered the Home Office to stop work on a former RAF base which is set to house migrants after accusing it of breaching planning rules.
West Lindsey District Council said it issued the a temporary stop notice pursuant to section 171E of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 at 7am on Friday.
The council said it issued the notice after it deemed there had been a breach of planning controls relating to listed buildings and archaeology on the site of the RAF Scampton base in Lincolnshire.
It said breaches include installing perimeter fencing and undertaking intrusive groundworks which could “cause irreversible damage to important heritage assets”.
The council is concerned about the future of the significant and important heritage on site at RAF Scampton and the Home Office has not provided the necessary information or reassurances
The Home Office said it was “confident” their work meets planning requirements.
The notice means the Home Office and its contractors must immediately stop any work related to listed buildings, and “all intrusive surveying works, groundworks and the installation of the fencing on the site”.
Sally Grindrod-Smith, director of planning, regeneration and communities at the council, said: “The council is the relevant local planning authority for the site.
“We are aware that there are works ongoing on site.
“However, despite repeated requests and service of a planning contravention notice, we have not been provided with any details of schedules of works, method statements, site plans or work phasing plans, details of materials, a detailed summary and schedule of all surveys being undertaken on the site or a marked-up site plan to show the locations of surveys having already been undertaken and those proposed.
“Additionally, the council has not been approached to determine whether listed building consent is required for works currently being undertaken on the site.
“The council is concerned about the future of the significant and important heritage on site at RAF Scampton and the Home Office has not provided the necessary information or reassurances.
This means that development work should halt on-site with immediate effect until we are furnished with details of the proposed works and can determine whether additional planning consents are required
“Unfortunately, we have been left with no alternative but to issue a temporary stop notice.
“This means that development work should halt on-site with immediate effect until we are furnished with details of the proposed works and can determine whether additional planning consents are required.
“The council has also served a further planning contravention notice seeking the relevant information.”
The notice took effect immediately and will remain in place for 28 days unless the council withdraws it earlier.
It is an offence under section 171G of the Town and Country Planning Act to contravene the notice.
Responding to the move, the Home Office said it is considering the implications of the notice and that it recognised its responsibilities to protect heritage assets at the site.
A spokesperson said: “Delivering accommodation on surplus military sites provides cheaper and more orderly, suitable accommodation for those arriving in small boats whilst helping to reduce the use of hotels.
“We are confident our project, which will house asylum seekers in basic, safe and secure accommodation, meets the planning requirements.”
RAF Scampton was home to the 617 Squadron, known for the Dambusters raid during the Second World War, and was also home to the Red Arrows.
The Home Office announced in March that migrants would be housed on the site, as well as at RAF Wethersfield in Braintree, Essex.
About 2,000 migrants are expected to be accommodated at the former base, but their arrival has reportedly been pushed back until October due to a delay in carrying out surveys on the 14 buildings designated for migrant accommodation.
The council lost an injunction bid in May to halt the move, but in July was given the green light to bring a High Court challenge.
Peter Hewitt, chairman of Scampton Holdings Ltd, said: “Scampton Holdings Ltd fully supports West Lindsey District Council’s decision to serve a temporary stop notice to the Home Office regarding the development of RAF Scampton.
“It is imperative to safeguard the site’s significant heritage, commercial prospects and ensure compliance with all necessary planning consents.
“We trust that the Home Office will promptly engage with the local planning authority to formulate an alternative location to house asylum seekers and safeguard RAF Scampton’s invaluable assets and potential for generations to come.”
SHL was leading a £300 million regeneration project at Scampton before the migrant plans were announced
The aim was to create “aviation heritage, business, aerospace, space and aviation technology and education opportunities”, according to the council, with an operational runway at the heart of the plans and thousands of jobs to be created.