Update on Linton-on-Ouse
Councillor Mark Robson, Leader of Hambleton District Council said:
“Hambleton District Council (HDC) is yet to receive the formal response we were informed would be with us week beginning 16 May, from the Home Office. We expect this response to address the issues and concerns raised in both a letter and at a face-to-face meeting about the proposed centre for asylum seekers at Linton-on-Ouse. We continue to anticipate this response imminently and have pressed the Home Office for it to be provided.
“Regardless of the lack of information and consultation, HDC has taken several actions in response to the Government’s proposal.
“HDC has served a Planning Contravention Notice (PCN) on the Home Office, which formally requests specific information from the Home Office so we as a council, can determine whether the Home Office plans for the asylum seekers centre at Linton-on-Ouse, breaches planning control. The Home Office is required to respond to this request by providing the requested information by Friday 27 May.
“We also continue to seek legal advice around a potential legal challenge. Today we have sent the Home Office a pre action protocol letter as a necessary step to any potential legal action and in a further attempt to secure the information we urgently need to allow the Council to properly respond to the proposal, assess service, community and financial implications, and take relevant action. This letter outlines why we feel the Home Office may have acted unlawfully in their intention to use the site at Linton-on-Ouse as a centre for asylum seekers, highlights the adverse impact on the Council, its taxpayers and communities and requires the Homes Office to justify its position.
“In addition to this, HDC is this week assessing the Home Office’s conclusion that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is not needed for the site. Our development management team is currently in consultation with our legal team in terms of whether an EIA is needed, and we will respond to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities with the outcome of our assessment, by the end of this week.
“Local councillors continue to support and be in dialogue with the local community, on both a one-to-one basis and in their attendance at community meetings, and we remain committed to supporting the local community and those living in the surrounding areas and providing transparent and timely updates as appropriate.
“There is clearly much going on at the moment in terms of the work around the Linton-on-Ouse proposal, with our aim continuing to be to secure the best possible outcome for everyone.”