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Last Updated: Monday, 15 September, 2003, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Airport asylum centre plans considered
Aerial view of Finningley
Plans for a new 80m airport were approved in April
Plans to build a new detention centre for hundreds of asylum seekers are being considered for a former RAF base in South Yorkshire.

If accepted, up to 800 people could be housed next to the planned international airport at Finningley near Doncaster.

The 80m airport was given the go-ahead by the government in April following a public inquiry lasting more than a year.

The Home Office and site owners Peel Holdings have both confirmed that a "preliminary meeting" has been held to discuss the feasibility of building an asylum facility at Finningley.

It was purely a feasibility meeting and nothing has been decided by either party
Home Office spokesman
A company spokeswoman said: "As owner of the site Peel has been approached by the Home Office for a transitory facility for asylum seekers at the airport.

"Peel have asked for the Home Office to supply more details in order for it to make a response.

"At the moment Peel has no opinion on the matter."

Peel Holdings has categorically denied any suggestion of a link between the government approach and its own bid for 22m pounds of public money to develop the site.

A Home Office spokesman said the Finningley was "one of a number of sites under consideration".

He added: "It was purely a feasibility meeting and nothing has been decided by either party."

It is understood that any such centre would be used to house people refused asylum and those awaiting appeals and deportation.




SEE ALSO:
Dungavel pressure mounts
10 Sep 03  |  Scotland
Security boost at asylum centre
21 Aug 03  |  Cambridgeshire
New airport gets the go-ahead
04 Apr 03  |  South Yorkshire


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