By Charlotte McLaughlin for MailOnline
Villagers who face being outnumbered two to one by asylum seekers say they are still in the dark about Priti Patel’s plans for a new processing centre they fear will destroy their community.
Residents in Linton-on-Ouse, which contains just 700 registered voters, have been stunned by plans to house more than 1,500 refugees at the former RAF airbase in the middle of the village.
They also speak of their concern over the lack of facilities where one shop sells mainly newspapers, there is no police presence and a ‘failing’ sewage system.
Speaking to the MailOnline residents also said it was the ‘wrong plan in the wrong place’ which will see hundreds of ‘young men roaming around the village’ and blamed Priti Patel for trying to turn their home into France’s ‘Calais Jungle’.
The news comes as the government’s new asylum seekers policy will see people flown 4,000 miles away to Rwanda to have their claims processed following a £120 million deal with the African country.
Villagers are also backing the local council who is set to mount a legal challenge against the plan that will see locals ‘outnumbered’ two-to-one and has already instructed lawyers to prepare arguments.
The North Yorkshire village of Linton-on-Ouse. The community of around 700 could be joined by as many as 1,500 asylum seekers housed in a reception centre in a former RAF base
Villagers such as Linda Scarbro (left) and Peter Baritt (right) are concerned by the plan to house 1,500 asylum seekers. Mrs Scarbro, 68, pictured, said the plan has come out ‘as a bolt from the blue’ while Mr Baritt says the former RAF base should be ‘returned to agriculture
Linda Scarbro, 68, a retired librarian now a volunteer guide at local historical sites, said it is ‘not NIMBY-ism’ and said Britain is very welcoming to those in need but said it was ‘the wrong plan, in the wrong place’.
She explained: ‘There has been no consultation. It has come as a bolt from the blue.
‘The first I knew about it was when it was announced on the local radio. The parish council knew nothing about it, nor did the District Council.
‘The key people from the village arranged a public meeting. Only a few people from the Home Office came and they declined to attend the second meeting.
‘I do not care about their race or religion. It is the fact you will have 1,500 young men roaming around the village and I don’t know what they are going to do.
‘They are free to come and go. The Home Office cannot detain them and the airfield is not secure.’
Kathryn Dryden, 60, a villager for ten years, said: ‘It is lack of consultation. It is the process of what the Home Office are trying to do which we consider at unlawful at this point.’
The only shop in the village, mainly sells newspapers, and is located just a one minute walk from the former RAF base
Villagers also speak of their concern over the lack of facilities where one shop sells mainly newspapers, there is no police presence and a ‘failing’ sewage system if the asylum seekers are put in the former RAF base, pictured
Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, who is considering legal options, previously said he would ‘push for these plans to be stopped’.
Following a community meeting, Mr Hollinrake added: ‘This is not a secure facility and having such a large volume of young men being housed in Linton-on-Ouse is completely wrong.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The asylum reception centre at Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, will help end our reliance on expensive hotels which are costing the taxpayer £4.7 million a day.
‘We are consulting with local stakeholders about the use of the site.
‘The New Plan for Immigration will fix this broken asylum system, allowing us to support those in genuine need while preventing abuse of the system and deterring illegal entry to the UK.’
Linton-On-Ouse is located near Leeds, York and Harrogate in the north of England
The local council is set to mount a legal challenge against the plan and has already instructed lawyers to prepare arguments