A NORTH Yorkshire MP has moved to reassure residents over plans to site asylum seeker accommodation in their village.

As The Press reported earlier today, the Government has plans to create a new centre for asylum seekers in Linton on Ouse near York.

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake now says the plan is for the RAF site to be used as an asylum seeker accommodation and processing centre.

Speaking of the plans, Mr Hollinrake said: "I appreciate my constituents may have a number of questions about this site, but it is important to note these claims must be processed somewhere and in a humane and managed manner. I want to assure constituents I will be working closely with the Home Office on this throughout."

Gazette & Herald: Thirsk and Malton MP, Kevin Hollinrake, says the site will bring new jobsThirsk and Malton MP, Kevin Hollinrake, says the site will bring new jobs

Mr Hollinrake said he has met with the Immigration Minister, Kevin Foster.

He said: "There are a number of conditions I wanted to ensure were considered in advance of the site opening. I have made it clear the local community must be at the heart of these plans, prioritising those in the area for any jobs which may be required at the site.

"At capacity, there should be around 300 jobs created on the site and a number of new business opportunities in catering and other areas.

"It is crucial that those being processed are housed in suitable and appropriate settings, with recreation and social facilities to enable those individuals to live as normal a life as possible.

"I have been assured the time limit for any asylum seekers to remain the site will be 180 days and I have ensured the Minister is clear this must be stuck to, to ensure those waiting for decisions are not unduly delayed.

"I have spoken to other members of parliament who already have similar facilities in their areas. Initial concerns around disturbance to local communities has not been borne out in practice, so hopefully this will be the case here also.

"I have also asked the Minister if he can consider opening the site up to Ukrainian refugees, given the heartwarming response from Thirsk and Malton constituents to the crisis."

A spokesperson for Linton on Ouse Parish Council said they had not been consulted about the plans and found out through reports in The Press this morning, and that, because of this, they had not had chance to discuss it with residents.

As The Press reported last year the RAF base at Linton is set to be sold by the end of 2023.

A last ditch bid to save RAF Linton on Ouse from closure failed in 2021.

Mr Hollinrake has spoken previously of how local people were rightly proud of the role RAF Linton on Ouse had played in the defence of the realm since the end of the Second World War, after opening in 1937 as a bomber airfield.

He said that during the war, its planes, pilots and air crew took off for highly dangerous long-distance bombing raids on Germany, Norway and other Axis military bases in Europe.

He said he would continue to work with the local authority to try to find alternative employment for those looking for work.