The Home Office needs to scrap its plans to convert High Peak Halls into an asylum dispersal centre.
On Monday, it looked like common sense had prevailed momentarily when the University of Derby withdrew its certificate of lawfulness application that our Council had recommended for refusal.
Disappointingly, within hours the University announced it intended to re-submit a new planning application, presumably to address the flaws we had identified in their original application.
This has gone on long enough. It is time for the Home Office to scrap their plans before the University puts in another planning application.
If these proposals were to go ahead, the asylum dispersal centre would be run by SERCO (the Government asylum accommodation provider) and be paid for by the Home Office.
As the leaders of High Peak Borough Council, we have made it clear that this location is entirely unsuitable for the proposed use, and we have written to the Home Office to object to the plans.
Jon Pearce, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for High Peak, has been leading the campaign to get the Home Office to drop its plans for High Peak Halls. He has also written to the Home Office, but the Home Office’s response simply confirmed their intention to go ahead with the asylum accommodation centre in Buxton.
This is not a party-political matter. I understand that locally all the main parties agree that these proposals should be dropped. The Conservative Leader of Derbyshire County Council has also written to the Home Office to object to the proposals.
Our current MP, Robert Largan, is on the payroll of this Government. We would encourage him to join ourselves, Jon Pearce, and the Conservative-led County Council in calling on the Home Office to drop these plans. He has called these plans “ludicrous” and therefore, he should be able to use his influence to get his own Government to scrap them without further delay.
Cllr Anthony Mckeown, Leader
Cllr Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader