HC Deb 15 December 2000 vol 359 c305W
Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the capacity for detaining asylum seekers; what is the(a) current and (b) planned capacity; what sites have been identified for new detention places; on what dates it is intended to open new detention facilities; and if he will make a statement. [142632]

Mr. Charles Clarke

We plan to increase the Immigration Detention estate from its current capacity of around 900 places to about 2,700 places. Work has already started to provide by next summer 900 places at the Defence Evaluation Research Agency (DERA) site near Bedford and 440 additional new places at Harmondsworth near Heathrow Airport. We are also finalising plans to deliver within the next six months up to a further 150 places at Dungavel Prison in Scotland. Our plans to provide 300 new detention places at Aldington, Kent, cannot be progressed as quickly because the public inquiry into the planning process has been adjourned pending the final outcome of litigation of another case before the courts in respect of a project at Alconbury.

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