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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 12:27 GMT
Immigrant centre plan at RAF base
Military parade
RAF Coltishall - motto Aggressive in Defence - was built in 1939
An RAF base in Norfolk could be turned into an immigration detention and removal centre, it has been revealed.

RAF Coltishall, north of Norwich, is due to close later this year and the site's future has yet to be decided.

However, staff from the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) have visited the base to look at converting it into a centre.

A Home Office letter to North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said the plans were in their early stages.

The letter said IND officials were planning to meet the local planning department in the near future and site surveys will take place.

'Minimal impact'

The letter from Home Office minister Liam Byrne MP said: "Any proposed removal centre on the site would be secure, and it would hold foreign nationals pending their removal from the UK.

"It would have minimal impact on the existing, local communities and, based on experience of similar centres across the country, it could deliver around 500 additional jobs to the area."

The airfield was a former Battle of Britain base in World War II.




SEE ALSO
Flypasts mark RAF base's closure
01 Apr 06 |  Norfolk
Study of RAF base closure impact
21 Feb 05 |  Norfolk
After the MoD leaves town
22 Jul 04 |  UK

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