Help close Napier Barracks

by Folkestone Resident and Napier Drop-In Centre Volunteer

Help close Napier Barracks

by Folkestone Resident and Napier Drop-In Centre Volunteer
Folkestone Resident and Napier Drop-In Centre Volunteer
Case Owner
I am a local resident and a lead volunteer helping asylum seekers who are housed at Napier Barracks alongside a number of voluntary organisations.
21
days to go
£39,960
pledged of £45,000 stretch target from 1,899 pledges
Pledge now
Folkestone Resident and Napier Drop-In Centre Volunteer
Case Owner
I am a local resident and a lead volunteer helping asylum seekers who are housed at Napier Barracks alongside a number of voluntary organisations.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Sept. 19, 2021

Initial target reached! Case to be lodged at court and more

Thank you so much for all your support! I have now hit my target for the costs cap and enabled some other costs of the litigation to be paid (my lawyers are working on a heavily discounted basis). We…

Read more

The Home Secretary has just decided, without consultation, to continue using Napier Barracks as asylum accommodation until 2025. Planning permission was due to expire on 21 September 2021. That should have been the end of the use of these ageing barracks as divisive and demeaning accommodation for asylum seekers.  But Priti Patel has just granted herself her own planning permission to reverse all that.

The many problems at Napier Barracks are well documented. Government inspectors, parliamentarians, health experts and many others have all agreed that housing asylum seekers in this way has been hugely damaging.  The  High Court also recently found that the operation of the barracks was unlawful. But on top of all this, Priti Patel has just overridden planning law by trying to grant herself her own planning permission

The barracks should therefore close, and people seeking sanctuary should be accommodated in safe, community-based accommodation with free access to help and support. Local people should be involved in this process, and not ignored.

I am taking Priti Patel to Court, but I need your help. 

Who am I?

I am a local resident and a lead volunteer helping asylum seekers who are housed at Napier Barracks alongside a number of voluntary organisations. We help with clothing, access to healthcare, access to lawyers and other welfare problems caused by the poor conditions at the barracks.

What is Napier Barracks? Why should it close? 

Napier barracks is a disused army barracks which has been used as asylum accommodation since September 2020. There are currently over 200 men held in dormitories of up to 14 people with 28 people sharing bathroom facilities. In January 2021 there was a major Covid-19 outbreak in the barracks where half the residents contracted Covid-19 and there is currently a second Covid-19 outbreak.  

Napier Barracks is wholly inappropriate for use as asylum accommodation and is deeply harmful to the men seeking safety who are held there, many of whom are survivors of torture, trafficking or other forms of physical or psychological harm.

The Home Office used an emergency planning law to obtain permission to use Napier Barracks for a year. Local people were promised at a community meeting that this was a temporary "emergency" arrangement during the pandemic. It was a condition of the planning permission that any extension would require a full application for planning permission. That would have given local people a say, and would have allowed the full story to be told about the terrible conditions at the site. Instead, the Home Office has sidestepped this process by granting itself a new planning permission using a different law.  I want the court to rule that this is unlawful.

What am I trying to achieve? 

We want the court to rule that Napier Barracks should close, and that legal process should not be overridden like this; but we have to move quickly. Priti Patel's self-granted planning permission comes into force on 21 September 2021 and we need to get to court before then.

How much I am raising and why? 

To take this legal action, we need your help. Your donations will be used to pay court fees and legal costs.  Although I will ask the court for a "costs cap" on my costs for the case, I need to raise money to cover-off this potential liability. I also need to fundraise a contribution to my legal team's costs as they are working on a heavily discounted basis.

Your contribution may be used in relation to other litigation opposing the operation of Napier Barracks, which is under consideration by others with a close knowledge of the problems at the camp.

Thank you for your support.

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Update 2

Folkestone Resident and Napier Drop-In Centre Volunteer

Sept. 19, 2021

Initial target reached! Case to be lodged at court and more

Thank you so much for all your support! I have now hit my target for the costs cap and enabled some other costs of the litigation to be paid (my lawyers are working on a heavily discounted basis). We will be issuing our case at Court in the coming days.

I will also share funds with Humans for Rights Network, a grass roots organisation who I work alongside supporting the men accommodated at Napier, and who are launching a second challenge to the ongoing use of Napier Barracks, arguing that conditions at the site and the continuing transfer of vulnerable individuals there breaches the law as it fails to rectify the issues the High Court ruled earlier this year to be unlawful. As I have met my initial target, your kind donations will be used to fund both cases on an approximately 50:50 basis.

You can read more about the Humans for Rights Network challenge here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/napier-barracks-home-office-priti-patel-b1920711.html

Update 1

Folkestone Resident and Napier Drop-In Centre Volunteer

Sept. 13, 2021

Press coverage and legal team

Thank you for the support that has started since we launched the page. The case has been covered here:

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/folkestone/news/im-taking-priti-patel-to-court-but-i-need-your-help-253867/

I thought I would also confirm my legal team:

Deighton Pierce Glynn solicitors (judicial review specialists, who already acted in the court case which criticised conditions at the barracks)

Landmark Chambers barristers: I have instructed three members of this chambers who are the leading barristers chambers for planning law in the country and are in the best position to argue why the Home Office's self-grant of planning permission is unlawful. 


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