HL Deb 11 February 2003 vol 644 c106WA
Lord Dubs

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether any further consideration has been given to potential sites for accommodation centres. [HL1620]

Lord Filkin

We are announcing today that we are considering applying for planning approval to develop an accommodation centre for asylum seekers at HMS Daedalus, Gosport, Hampshire.

Because the need to establish the accommodation centres trial is urgent, the Government are committed as a matter of policy to developing accommodation centres for 750 asylum seekers each at DSDC Bicester and the former RAF Newton. For the trial to be effective it is necessary to have a policy commitment to these two sites and we will therefore continue vigorously to make our case to the planning inquiries established to consider our proposals.

We previously announced our intention to trial a smaller model of accommodation centre for up to 400 single men only. We consider the site at HMS "Daedalus" to be suitable for this model, and to that extent it is a key element of the policy to trial accommodation centres.

As before, we will comply with the planning process with this new site and we hope that we will make considerable progress in the consultation process with the local community and councils.

After detailed consideration, we have decided not to pursue the sites at Sully Hospital, South Glamorgan; AirWest, Edinburgh; and RAF Hemswell, Lincolnshire for the purposes of the trial. No planning notifications will therefore be submitted for these sites.

Site searching continues and we are looking in particular for an alternative site in Scotland to replace AirWest, Edinburgh. When a potential site has been identified we will consult Scottish Ministers in line with Section 40 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.