Objections lodged against fresh plans to house asylum seekers

Nigel Fielding outside the Jaguar Buildings on the Badersfield estate, in Scottow. 

Nigel Fielding outside the Jaguar Buildings on the Badersfield estate, in Scottow. - Credit: Stuart Anderson

More than a dozen objections have already been lodged against a plan to house asylum seekers at a former air force officers' mess in north Norfolk. 

And residents of the Badersfield estate, next to Scottow Enterprise Park, are planning further action to try to halt the plan for the Jaguar Buildings, a year after they were last used for the purpose. 

Residents from Badersfield at a meeting with Jerome Mayhew about the potential of Jaguar Buildings b

Residents from Badersfield at a meeting with Jerome Mayhew about the potential of Jaguar Buildings being granted permission to be used as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers again.

But one of them, Nigel Fielding, said he feared the plan was a fait accompli.

Mr Fielding, 65, said: "Everybody is saying it's a done deal and that they will get away with it. It's too many people to have in such a small, isolated location, that's our main objection. But it seems like the odds are stacked against us."

Mr Fielding is a director of the Coltishall Barnaby Residents Company, which represents residents of the estate.

The BM Trust, owner of the building - which used to be part of the former RAF Coltishall air base - has applied to Broadland District Council for permission to house up to 180 men seeking asylum there for up to a year. 

Jaguar Buildings in Badersfield which could potentially be used again as an accommodation centre for

Jaguar Buildings in Badersfield which could potentially be used again as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Such a use would be overseen by the Home Office and administered by its contractor, Serco.

But community opposition to the plan is strong, and residents have the support of Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew

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One objection read: "During 2020, there were many instances of antisocial behaviour with previous asylum seekers, leading to the police being called out often. Some locals did help with clothing, etcetera. 

"I did help myself and conversed with a very pleasant Sri Lankan couple. Having said that, I know that being so far away from the city is not helpful."

Residents from Badersfield at a meeting with Jerome Mayhew about the potential of Jaguar Buildings b

Residents from Badersfield at a meeting with Jerome Mayhew about the potential of Jaguar Buildings being granted permission to be used as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers again. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Another objector said: "We currently pay a premium for the privilege to live in the area which may not be understood or respected by the asylum seekers that are brought into the Jaguar Buildings."

Mr Fielding the true number of objections was much higher than shown on Broadland's planning portal, and some residents had complained their letters had not been published there.

A spokesman from the council said some letters had been removed for review due to "concerns regarding the content", as some were offensive or defamatory.