The Government has announced that it will scrap its plan to build accommodation centres for asylum seekers on rural sites. The climbdown came after growing local opposition to the plan and the continuing drop in the number of those seeking asylum.
The announcement was made as part of a parliamentary answer given by the Immigration Minister, Tony McNulty, when he said it was unlikely that any centres would be built before 2010. The original plan was to provide about 3000 places for asylum seekers in centres around the country as alternative accommodation to inner-city estates in Scotland and the north of England.
It is perceived that the large number of planning disputes that had erupted over attempts to build asylum centres were the root of the change in policy. Local opposition to a number of planned centres had resulted in the Home Office having to abandon the proposed sites and look elsewhere.
A Home Office spokesman told the Guardian that the change in policy was a result of putting”more of an emphasis on removal centres and less of an emphasis on accommodation centres.
Guardian: Rural asylum centres scrapped