THE leader of Fareham Borough Council says he would not welcome any bid to build a refugee camp at the former HMS Daedalus site.
Tory councillor Sean Woodward said the former Royal Navy airfield, now a Solent Enterprise Zone, will grow over the years into a key employment site – and welcoming migrants there wouldn’t be appropriate.
We did have a proposal for an immigration centre at Daedalus about 10 years ago, and it attracted an immense amount of public outrage.Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council
It comes despite prime minister David Cameron declaring he will welcome thousands more Syrian refugees into the country as the humanitarian crisis deepens.
Cllr Woodward said: ‘We did have a proposal for an immigration centre at Daedalus about 10 years ago, and it attracted an immense amount of public outrage. We got the government to retract and go away with it.
‘The difference then was the government owned the site, now Fareham Borough Council owns it. At that time, Daedalus was a dilapidated site, now it’s a brimming business community.
‘I had 500 residents from Stubbington recently to hear about our vision for Daedalus.
‘We will invest £50m into the site. It’s a centre of excellence for aviation.
‘It won’t be used for refugees.’
In the 1970s, Thorney Island, in West Sussex, became a haven for refugees from the war in South Vietnam seeking a new life and safety in the UK.