Appeal against Wethersfield asylum centre injunction ruling heard

Rt Hon Sir Keith Lindblom reserved judgement

A statement from our Leader Cllr Graham Butland on Wethersfield Airfield. 

Today our appeal against the High Court’s decision regarding the interpretation of Class Q and the refusal to grant the Council an injunction to stop the Home Office’s proposals to provide accommodation for asylum seekers at Wethersfield Airfield was heard at the High Court.  

This challenged the Home Office’s 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. 

The Rt Hon Sir Keith Lindblom reserved judgement which means a decision will be given at a future date. He said he hopes to deliver a judgement in as shorter time as possible.  

We are pleased to have had the opportunity to put our views and the views of our local community in front of the Judge, continuing to support the community to restrain the Home Office from going ahead with these proposals. We believe Wethersfield Airfield is an unsuitable site for the Home Office’s plans to house 1,700 asylum seekers, 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 an impact upon the local community. 

As always, we will continue to keep residents informed when we know more. 

Thank you again to residents, businesses, community groups, MP’s and parish councils for working with us throughout this process so far. 
Our previous statements on this situation can be found at   

  • In the Wethersfield Airfield case, the Home Office have reliance on certain permitted development rights conferred by Class Q, Part 19, Schedule 2 under the General Permitted Development Order 1995. This deals with development by the Crown or for national security purposes. Within that, Class Q addresses development by the Crown relating to an emergency. 

Published: 12th June 2023