BRAINTREE Council says it will appeal against the High Court’s decision not to grant it an injunction to stop the asylum centre bid at Wethersfield.

The council brought legal action over the proposed use of Wethersfield Airfield to accommodate up to 1,700 male asylum seekers for up to 180 days each.

The Ministry of Defence-owned land was one of the sites identified when Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick unveiled plans last month to house asylum seekers in disused military bases to reduce the vast amount of money being spent on hotel accommodation.

The local authority’s lawyers asked a judge to grant an injunction preventing the use of the site, arguing proposals would breach planning control.

Braintree and Witham Times: The Wethersfield site could accommodate up to 1,700 male asylum seekers for up to 180 days eachThe Wethersfield site could accommodate up to 1,700 male asylum seekers for up to 180 days each (Image: PA)

The council rejected the Government’s argument that the need to accommodate more asylum seekers is an “emergency” under planning law.

The Home Office and MoD opposed the injunction, with Government lawyers asking for the case to be thrown out.

A decision was made in London on April 21, when Mr Justice Waksman concluded that the court did not have the legal power to grant the council’s application, and therefore ruled in favour of the Government.

Now, Braintree Council has said today, April 28, it is appealing against the decision.

Braintree and Witham Times: Braintree Council has said it is appealing the High Court decisionBraintree Council has said it is appealing the High Court decision (Image: N/A)

A spokesman said: “Last Friday we received the High Court’s judgement on our injunction application to challenge the Home Office’s proposals to secure accommodation for asylum seekers at Wethersfield Airfield.

“The High Court decided not to grant us with an injunction and determined that the Home Office is permitted to rely upon the provisions set out within Class Q.

“We have been reflecting on next steps and have decided to proceed with appealing the High Court’s decision, as we share the same view as many in our community that Wethersfield Airfield is not a suitable site for asylum use, and we remain of the view that the Home Office cannot rely on the use of permitted development rights (Class Q) as a way of getting around the need for planning permission.

“We will be preparing our appeal papers and will be lodging these within the next week. We’ll then await notification of when the appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeal and keep residents updated.

“This appeal does not stop the Home Office from continuing to prepare the site to house asylum seekers. We will be requesting that the appeal is heard before the Home Office place any asylum seekers on site.

Braintree and Witham Times: The High Court previously ruled in favour of the GovernmentThe High Court previously ruled in favour of the Government (Image: PA)

“We know there is still a lot of uncertainty amongst the community on these plans and we are continuing to press the Home Office to engage directly with the local community to share more detailed plans about their proposals and fully understand the concerns being raised.

“The Government has issued a frequently asked questions document published on their website (

“However, some details remain unclear. We are still lacking detailed information from the Home Office on the needs of any asylum seekers and the facilities that would be provided on site.

“In the meantime, we are continuing to work with our multi-agency partners to prepare if plans go ahead and identify any actions required so that we can support any asylum seekers accommodated and help to minimise any impacts on our local communities.”