High Court refuses Council’s injunction for proposed Wethersfield asylum centre

Braintree District Council believe Wethersfield is an unsuitable site to house asylum seekers

Braintree District Council's application for an injunction against the Home Office's plans to house asylum seekers at Wethersfield Airfield has been refused.

The application was heard by the High Court on Wednesday, April 19.

This challenged the proposals by the Home Office to secure accommodation for asylum seekers at Wethersfield Airfield and their reliance on the use of permitted development rights (Class Q) as a way of getting around the need for planning permission. We had sought to obtain an injunction to restrain them from using the site for this purpose.  

We are disappointed that the High Court did not grant us with an injunction to restrain the Home Office from their proposals and have determined that the Home Office is permitted to rely upon the provisions set out within class Q.  

We remain of the view that Wethersfield Airfield is an unsuitable site, given the lack of capacity in local services, its isolated location, the size of the site, and the fact that the scale of the development proposed could have a significant impact upon the local community, and want to thank all those who have worked with us, including local residents, community groups, parish councils and MP’s, up until this point.   

We are grateful to the judge for granting the council’s application for an appeal and we will now be reflecting on any next steps.  

If plans do go ahead, we will continue to work closely with our partners to press the Home Office to share more detailed information about their plans with the local community and identify any actions required so that we can support any asylum seekers accommodated as well as minimising any impacts on our local communities. 

Published: 21st April 2023