William Eichler 12 May 2023

Braintree DC plans to appeal court’s airfield decision

Braintree DC plans to appeal court’s airfield decision image
Image: pxl.store / Shutterstock.com.

Braintree District Council is to continue with legal action to try and stop an airfield being used to house hundreds of asylum seekers.

It plans to appeal against a refusal by the High Court to issue an injunction to prevent the move going ahead.

The council went to the courts over the proposed use of Wethersfield Airfield to accommodate up to 1,700 male asylum seekers for up to 180 days each.

The Ministry of Defence-owned land was one of the sites identified when immigration minister Robert Jenrick unveiled plans last month to house asylum seekers in disused military bases to reduce the amount of money being spent on hotel accommodation.

Graham Butland, leader of Braintree District Council, said there were two other judicial review proceedings going ahead, issued from West Lindsey District Council for their site at RAF Scampton and a resident from Wethersfield.

He said there were still many unanswered questions about the proposals and ongoing concerns within the community.

The council was pressing the Home Office for more details and for it to ‘engage with the community.’

Cllr Butland said: ‘We still need to prepare to support any asylum seekers if legal proceedings are not successful.

‘We are continuing to work with local partners to plan for this as well as mitigating any pressures on local services and the impact on the local community.’

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