12 March 2015

It was revealed today that in a letter to Nicola Blackwood MP, Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire, announced that the Home Office is withdrawing its application to Cherwell District Council in Oxfordshire to more than double the size of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre.

The Detention Forum members opposed this ill-advised and ill-timed plan.  Some of the members based in Oxford, particularly Campaign to Close Campsfield, played a crucial role in leading a strong opposition to this plan.  Huge congratulations to local groups who co-ordinated a brilliant campaign.  You can read Campaign to Close Campsfield press release below.


Campaign to Close Campsfield PRESS RELEASE – 12 March 2015

Government agents formally withdraw planning application

CGMS consultants, acting for the Home Office and Ministry of Justice, have now written to Cherwell District Council formally withdrawing the planning application to expand Campsfield.

Bill MacKeith, spokesperson for the Campaign to Close Campsfield said:

“This is a great victory. But the new government in May must implement the recommendations of the parliamentary Inquiry into Immigration Detention: a 28-day time limit to detention and full judicial oversight of individual decisions to detain. This would be a further step forward and entail some closures of detention centres. Above all, this is a chance to point to the need for the end of the barbaric imprisonment every year of 30,000 innocent people under 1971 Immigration Act powers. Close Campsfield. Close all immigration detention centres.”

Carol Day at Leigh Day, solicitors acting for Stop Campsfield Expansion who wrote the 7-page letter to Cherwell Council that prompted the postponement of consideration of the application and then its withdrawal, said:

“This is the right decision and very good news. The approach being taken by Cherwell Borough Council was clearly wrong in law. The onus was on the Home Office to prove that very special circumstances to justify this inappropriate development in the Green Belt were established. The information before the Council completely failed to make the case.”


Campaign to Close Campsfield: Bill 01865 558145, Liz 07791 738 577, Tim 07721 771 835 Gill 01993 703994

Leigh Day: David Standard, Head of Media Relations 01949 850246 07540 332717  dstandard@leighday.co.uk