Fears over Scampton work as council officers refused access to check adherence to 'stop' order

Temporary buildings at RAF Scampton. (Photo by: Chris Gresham/Local Democracy Reporting Service)
Temporary buildings at RAF Scampton. (Photo by: Chris Gresham/Local Democracy Reporting Service)

A trusted source told locals the move may be a strategic play, positioning the completed work as a defence in the upcoming judicial review scheduled for October 31 and November 1.

The argument would be reversing the progress would result in a waste of taxpayer money, the source speculated.

The council issued the halt notice under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 last Friday. The directive effectively mandates work to stop on the listed buildings, intrusive surveys, and the installation of fencing.

Workers at RAF Scampton. (Photo by: Local Democracy Reporting Service)
Workers at RAF Scampton. (Photo by: Local Democracy Reporting Service)

In the past week, the Home Office has installed portable buildings on the site, but declined to comment on whether it will comply with the conditions of the TSN.

Scheduled to perform an inspection this week, council conservation and enforcement officers were denied entry, fueling speculation work is still ongoing.

Eyewitness accounts support this, noting the presence of several individuals in high-visibility vests, who appeared reluctant to comment. Contractors were also seen entering the premises on Sunday.

Sally Grindrod-Smith, council director of planning, regeneration and communities said today, Monday: “Council conservation and enforcement officers visited the site today as planned.

“They were refused entry and therefore the required site inspection has not been undertaken. We are aware work is taking place on-site.

“The TSN did not require all works to cease on site; it listed the cessation of fencing, groundworks, utilities installation and any works to and within the curtilage of the listed buildings.

“As a result of the refusal by the Home Office to allow the council to access the site, we cannot be certain if the Home Office is adhering to the requirements of the TSN.

“The council will continue to request permission to carry out this urgent site inspection, while urging the Home Office to adhere to the conditions in the TSN and to respond with appropriate information on site activity as soon as possible.”

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Sarah Carter, leader of the Save Our Scampton campaign group, said “We don’t know if they are adhering to the notice because they are allowed to do certain works. The TSN only includes work to the listed buildings, intrusive surveys and building fencing.

“However, how do we know that what they’re doing doesn’t involve those particular works?”

Coun Roger Patterson, council member for Scampton, emphasised that if the Home Office is neglecting the notice, it amounts to “breaking the law.”

He said: “West Lindsey will take enforcement action.

“Once you let this happen, anybody can do anything they like and government plans and policies go out of the window. It shows a total disdain for national and local planning laws. It’s like there’s one rule for them and another rule for everyone else.”

The Home Office reissued the same statement as before, saying: “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.”