Toggle Mobile Menu Visibility
Toggle Search Controls Visibility
Toggle search control visibility
Search Site

University withdraws asylum centre application

Published on 7 August 2023

High Peak Borough Council's Development Control Committee due to take place today has been cancelled after the University of Derby withdrew its application for a Certificate of Lawful Development to use High Peak Halls as an asylum seekers dispersal centre.

The Council was only told by the applicant that they were withdrawing the application this morning.

The application was recommended for refusal if the meeting had taken place.

Council Leader, Councillor Anthony Mckeown, said: "I very much welcome the withdrawal of this application by the University. Feelings have been running high in the town and I, like residents, did not want to see this application approved.

"As Leader of the Council, I have been clear that this location is entirely unsuitable for the proposed use and I have written to the Home Office to object to the plans."

In March this year, and in consultation with the Police, the Council identified the area around the Halls as unsuitable due to existing levels of crime and anti-social behaviour and the Council has made its views known to the Police and Crime Commissioner, Serco and the Home Office.

Councillor Mckeown added: "In my view, this was not the right site for vulnerable people to be accommodated and I hope the University of Derby have heard the concerns of local people and agencies and will look at other, more suitable uses for the Halls."

The Council had no involvement in the development of the proposals and no pre-application discussions were held with officers - the application referred to use of the building by 'non-students' and the Council only received formal clarification of the intended use at a meeting of the East Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership on 14 July.