Security fears raised over Badersfield asylum seeker plan

Residents from Badersfield at a meeting with Jerome Mayhew about the potential of Jaguar Buildings b

Residents from Badersfield at a meeting with Jerome Mayhew about the potential of Jaguar Buildings being granted permission to be used as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers again.

Concerns over security dominated a public forum about plans to use a former RAF complex to house asylum seekers. 

About 50 people crowded into a room at the Jaguar Buildings on the Badersfield estate for a meeting called at short notice by Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew. 

Residents from Badersfield at a meeting with Jerome Mayhew about the potential of Jaguar Buildings b

Residents from Badersfield at a meeting with Jerome Mayhew about the potential of Jaguar Buildings being granted permission to be used as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers again. - Credit: Danielle Booden

The mood was hostile as neighbours of the buildings - which was once the officers' mess of the RAF Coltishall airbase - listed a range of arguments against the plan to house up to 180 men seeking asylum there, a year after it was last used for that purpose

One person said: "These guys have got nothing to do. Through the summer months they will be out there till 3am or 4am."

Another said: "We have got hundreds of young children on this estate. Are they safe?"

Jaguar Buildings in Badersfield which could potentially be used again as an accommodation centre for

Jaguar Buildings in Badersfield which could potentially be used again as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Nigel Fielding, 65, is a director of the Coltishall Barnaby Residents Company, which represents residents of the estate. He said: "I'm totally opposed to it and the reasons are security, safety for the local residents. There's so many issues - 180 people is going to have a massive impact on everything that we stand for.

The plans for Jaguar Buildings to be used again as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers. Pictu

The plans for Jaguar Buildings to be used again as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"They talk about the human rights of the people coming in, what about our human rights under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act? A right to privacy and a right to private life. We don't get a look in." 

Mr Mayhew, who is also against the plan, said he had only had "limited success" in putting his case to Kevin Foster, the under-secretary of state for safe and legal migration.

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Mr Mayhew said: "My argument was undermined by the lack of places being offered in the county of Norfolk.

"When I said to the minister 'this is an unsuitable location' he said, 'we've filled up all the suitable locations'."

Broadland District Council will decide if BM Trust - the buildings' owner - can use the site to house asylum seekers, which would be managed by the Home Office and its contractor Serco. 

Debi Sherman, director of planning at One Planning - BM Trust 's agent - said the buildings were “well suited for use as short-term accommodation” and they had invested in new fencing to address concerns.