Plans for a multi-million pound housing scheme in County Durham are anticipated to be scrapped to get replaced by an immigration detention centre.
The Home Office is proposing to flip the former Hassockfield Detention Centre, in Consett, right into a Category 3-style jail to detain round 80 individuals who have had functions for UK residency denied.
Durham County Council had permitted the planning utility from Homes England for 127 properties on the site final summer season.
The detention centre closed in 2014 and occupied the former Medomsley Detention Centre – a former youth facility the place 5 members of workers have been convicted for his or her brutal bodily and sexual abuse of children within the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties.
North West Durham MP Richard Holden stated the detention centre would create 150 jobs.
The Conservative politician stated: “Genuine refugees should at all times be supported however I imagine failed asylum seekers and international criminals needs to be housed in safe amenities till they’re deported, not free to roam the streets.
“We want sufficient capability to detain and take away those that don’t have any proper to be within the UK in fit-for-purpose, safe, trendy amenities.
“The open border coverage of native Labour politicians is a catastrophe and the truth that Consett’s Labour councillors are vocal in making an attempt to cease the deportation of international criminals beggars perception.
“To re-use the Hassockfield site as a safe immigration removing facility for 80 inmates is a smart use of taxpayers’ cash and the 150 good full-time native jobs in North West Durham that can be created are a really important enhance to the native economic system from a Conservative authorities that’s decided to see international criminals deported.”
The Home Office intends to use the site for an immigration detention centre, which might maintain on remand round 80 folks – who’ve had functions for residency denied – in a facility working to the identical strict staffing and safety requirements, as a traditional Cat 3 jail.
The site could be used to detain people who find themselves international nationals who’ve dedicated a criminal offense within the UK and have been given deportation directions or folks residing unlawfully or illegally within the UK, similar to overstaying their visa.
The Home Office stated it could not be used to detain those that have entered the UK by way of the English Channel and claimed asylum at Border Control.
The proposals don’t want consent from Durham County Council, because the site has historic designation as being of use for “detention functions”.
But County Durham Labour has blasted plans to scrap the residential improvement in favour of an immigration detention centre.
But Cllr Jane Brown, who additionally represents Delves Lane, stated: “It is time the MP additionally challenged the Tory-controlled Home Office, which opposed Durham County Council’s thought of going out to the general public in regards to the plans to open this Category 3-style jail, because the Labour-led council had consulted on its personal plans for the much-needed Housing Development.
“Local politicians, no matter occasion, don’t have any enter or management by any means on this nation’s border insurance policies, that is a matter for nationwide politicians as Richard Holden is aware of solely too nicely.
“Furthermore, there is no such thing as a report wherever of Consett’s Labour councillors making an attempt to cease any deportations – to recommend that’s the case is contemptible.
“Durham County Council solely discovered about these plans on the finish of November 2020, and the Home Office and Ministry of Justice intend to begin utilizing the ability from July 2021 – an extremely tight turn-around. “
Cllr Malcolm Clarke, who additionally represents Delves Lane ward, stated it was a shock to be taught that the plans for “a lot wanted” social housing have been scrapped in favour of a immigration detention centre.
He added: “With so many individuals ready for properties, it’s extremely disappointing to see a undertaking that might have delivered 127 new dwelling for people and households being thrown away to create a detention centre to home simply 80 folks.
“Myself and Labour colleagues are completely towards the scrapping of this housing scheme and we can be asking native Conservative MP, Richard Holden, to do the identical, as he’s conscious of how very important the necessity for social housing is on this space.”
A Home Office spokeswoman stated: “The public rightly count on us to keep a sturdy immigration system, which immigration detention performs a vital function in.
“This Government will make sure the detention property is fit-for-purpose, together with having sufficient capability to detain and take away those that don’t have any proper to stay within the UK.”