The county council has ordered the Home Office to stop work on a former RAF base intended to house migrants after accusing it of breaching planning rules.
West Lindsey District Council said it issued a temporary stop notice under section 171E of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 at 7am on Friday.
The council said it issued the notice after finding there had been a breach of planning controls relating to listed buildings and archeology at the site of RAF Scampton base in Lincolnshire.
The violations include the installation of fencing and interference with earthworks that “could lead to irreversible damage to important cultural assets.”
The Council is concerned about the future of the significant and important on-site heritage at RAF Scampton and the Home Office has not provided the necessary information or assurances
The Home Office said it was “confident” their work met planning requirements.
The notice means the Home Office and its contractors must immediately stop all work relating to listed buildings, as well as “all disruptive survey work, earthworks and installation of fencing on the site”.
Sally Grindrod-Smith, director of planning, regeneration and communities at the council, said: “The council is the responsible local planning authority for the site.
“We are aware that work is underway on site.
“However, despite repeated requests and the service of a notice of construction violations, we have not been provided with details of work plans, process descriptions, site plans or work phase plans, details of materials, a detailed summary and schedule of all investigations carried out on the site or a marked site plan , which shows the locations of previously conducted and proposed investigations.
“In addition, the council has not been contacted to determine whether listed building consent is required for the work currently being carried out on the site.
“The council is concerned about the future of the significant and important local heritage at RAF Scampton and the Home Office has not provided the necessary information or assurances.
This means that development work on site should cease with immediate effect until we receive details of the planned works and can determine whether additional planning permission is required
“Unfortunately, we had no choice but to issue a temporary suspension.
“This means that development work on site should cease with immediate effect until we receive details of the planned works and can determine whether additional planning consents are required.”
“The council has also served a further building infringement notice requesting relevant information.”
The notice came into force immediately and will remain in force for 28 days unless the Council withdraws it earlier.
Breach of the notice constitutes an offense under section 171G of the Town and Country Planning Act.
In response to the move, the Home Office said it was assessing the impact of the notice and was aware of its responsibility to protect cultural heritage at the site.
A spokesman said: “Providing accommodation on surplus military sites provides cheaper, more orderly and suitable accommodation for those arriving in small boats, while helping to reduce the use of hotels.”
“We are confident that our project, which will accommodate asylum seekers in simple, secure accommodation, meets planning requirements.”
RAF Scampton was home to 617 Squadron, known for the Dambusters attack during the Second World War, and was also home to the Red Arrows.
The Home Office announced in March that migrants would be accommodated at the site and at RAF Wethersfield in Braintree, Essex.
About 2,000 migrants are expected to be housed at the former base. However, their arrival was reportedly postponed until October due to delays in conducting surveys on the 14 buildings designated to house migrants.
The council failed to get an injunction to stop the move in May, but was given the green light to lodge a challenge with the Supreme Court in July.
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 protect the significant heritage and commercial prospects of the site and ensure compliance with all necessary planning consents.
“We trust that the Home Office will work promptly with the local planning authority to find an alternative site to accommodate asylum seekers and protect the invaluable assets and potential of RAF Scampton for generations to come.”
SHL led a £300m regeneration project in Scampton before the migration plans were announced
The aim is to create “aviation heritage, business, aerospace, aerospace and aviation technology and educational opportunities”, with an operational runway at the heart of the plans and thousands of jobs to be created.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/home-office-raf-braintree-raf-scampton-migrants-planning-breach-b1105832.html The Home Office ordered work to stop at a former RAF base used to house migrants