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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Airport rejects asylum centre plans
Aerial view of Finningley
Plans for a new 80m airport were approved in April
Plans to build a detention centre for asylum seekers at a former RAF base in South Yorkshire have been rejected by its owners.

The Finningley Airport site, near Doncaster, was one of 15 locations being looked at as a possible site for a removals facility by the Home Office.

But at a board meeting on Thursday, Peel Airports decided not to pursue discussions with land agents acting for the government.

The company says fierce public opinion and the fear of losing business at the airport site played a part in the decision.

Peel's priority is to generate airport-related employment for local people and to bring major firms to Doncaster.
Peel Airports spokesman
David Ryall, Peel's Director of Aviation Services, said: "We are aware that land agents have been scouting possible sites nationwide, but do not consider it right for Doncaster Finningley Airport.

"With considerable interest from other businesses, we did not feel the removals centre was right for the site but had to consider it fully before reaching a decision."

A spokesman for Peel Airports added there were already about 100 businesses committed to the site.

He said: "Peel's priority is to generate airport-related employment for local people and to bring major firms to Doncaster."

News of the asylum centre provoked a storm of protest from local residents, many of whom were already opposed to the planned international airport.

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

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04 Apr 03  |  South Yorkshire

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