Catterick Garrison barracks will not be used for large-scale asylum site, says Rishi Sunak

Catterick Garrison
Catterick Garrison barracks will be used to house refugees from Afghanistan, the Prime Minister said. Credit: PA

Plans for a large-scale migrant accommodation site in North Yorkshire will not go ahead, the Prime Minister has said.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had previously said he was "showing leadership" by including Catterick Garrison barracks, which is in his Richmond constituency, on a list of sites to be repurposed as a place to house asylum seekers.

On Friday, Mr Sunak said the barracks would be used to house refugees from Afghanistan but is not suitable for a large asylum site.

When asked about it on a visit to Lincolnshire on Friday, Mr Sunak said: "The Ministry of Defence and Home Office have been conducting site inspections of various alternatives.

"They have concluded Catterick isn't right for a large asylum site but the intention is to use it to house refugees from Afghanistan, where we obviously have commitments after our withdrawal from there a couple of years ago.

"More generally, stopping the boats is a massive priority of mine. It's something I said I wanted to do because that's ultimately the best way to relieve pressure on hotels and other areas in local communities."

The plan to use Catterick was part of plans to cut the cost of asylum housing by using military bases, including RAF Wethersfield in Essex and RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, as well as the Bibby Stockholm barge.

The news was met with a mixed response in Catterick Garrison.

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