First asylum seekers set to arrive in Linton-on-Ouse within two weeks

The former RAF base is to become an asylum centre Credit: PA

The first group of asylum seekers are set to arrive at a controversial processing centre in a North Yorkshire village by the end of the month, the local MP has said.

Kevin Hollinrake, the Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, said Home Office officials had told him 60 asylum seekers will arrive in the village of Linton-on-Ouse by 31 May – up to four weeks earlier than expected.

He is urging the Government to ditch the plan, saying it is in "entirely the wrong location" and that it will effectively place the 600-or-so villagers "under house arrest".

Mr Hollinrake said: "I have spoken to every relevant minister to say this can't go ahead, the plans must be put on hold until all the considerations are in place. But ideally a reconsideration – those plans are simply the wrong plans in the wrong place."

The plans will see the former RAF base in Linton turned into an asylum reception site, as part of measures which will also see asylum seekers sent to Rwanda to have their applications processed.

It would mean up to 1,500 people – mainly men – could move into Linton.

Villagers in Linton-on-Ouse are up in arms

As well as threats of legal action from local councillors, human rights campaigners have voiced their concerns about the plan, while residents have raised fears that it is affecting the local housing market.

Mr Hollinrake said he was "absolutely devastated" at the news of the earlier-than-expected arrival date.

He said: "I'm so angry about it, we were told only last week it would be four-to-six weeks and we were told months ago that proper facilities would be on site and put in place – a cinema, a gym, a library on-site, proper catering facilities, a proper policing plan, CCTV potentially, to look at access so it wouldn't come straight through the village, a change of access.

"None of these have been put in place or even properly considered, I'm absolutely outraged by it."

Mr Hollinrake added that there was very little he could do to stop the plan, other than "physically standing in the way".

He added: "We all make mistakes and I think they have got this wrong, they have rushed it through, its come alongside the Rwanda policy so they need a UK policy as well."

And he pushed back against claims of "nimbyism", insisting the village was "panic stricken".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the centre is required to deliver the Government's new wider approach to immigration which includes sending some asylum seekers to Rwanda – and that a solution is need to stop people "dying in the channel".

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