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Turnhouse asylum plan dropped as Prestwick fears grow

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The Herald (Glasgow) February 12, 2003

BYLINE: Raymond Duncan And Deborah Summers  

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to house asylum seekers on an old RAF base on the outskirts of Edinburgh has been abandoned, but the Home Office indicated that a centre housing between 400 and 750 people was still on the agenda for Scotland. Ruling out the former RAF Turnhouse, a spokeswoman said: “We are going to look for sites in Scotland as an alternative and will be consulting with Scottish ministers.” Last night, there was speculation that a historic building in Ayrshire, once a British Aerospace training centre, could be a target. Adamton House, by Prestwick airport, was bought last year by the Angel Group, a Hertfordshire-based property Page 86 Flying school could house 750 refugees Evening Times (Glasgow) February 12, 2003 developer that has already provided homes for refugees and is described as an accommodation specialist. The company already has Home Office contracts to provide accommodation for refugees in England. Phil Gallie, South of Scotland Tory MSP, said yesterday he had been assured in the past that Adamton House was not a possible site. He added: “I would hate to think so. It’s not an ideal situation.” Adamton House was formerly a hotel with 256 rooms. The premises became a flying school until about two years ago. A planning application in the name of Ingle Lodge Ltd, a subsidiary of the Angel Group, for it to revert to a hotel was recently approved by South Ayrshire Council, but with a condition that it must be for that use. Last month, the group denied it planned to use its Otterburn Hall, a Northumberland hotel, as a holding centre for asylum seekers. Yesterday’s Turnhouse an-nouncement finally ended months of uncertainty for residents and for local politicians opposed to a centre there. Michael Urquhart, a headteacher living in one of a number of former RAF houses at Lennymuir that would have been yards from the accommodation centre, said he was “delighted for everybody”. John Barrett, LibDem MP for Edinburgh West, said: “It’s been a long time coming. It’s absolutely the correct decision because this was an inappropriate site.” Margaret Smith, LibDem MSP for the area, claimed common sense had prevailed. She added: “This was a decision that should have been taken six to eight months ago. The residents have been experiencing terrible planning blight because no -one could sell their house.” Donald Anderson, Edinburgh City Council leader, said the move was not a surprise. “We made it clear the site was necessary for the development of Edinburgh airport and that we would be unhappy if that was affected.” The Scottish Executive said: “Scottish ministers will be consulted about the proposed site once the Home Office has identified one.”


Written by Concerned

February 12, 2003 at 11:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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