Save Northeye, Bexhill-on-Sea

by Jeffrey Newnham

Save Northeye, Bexhill-on-Sea

by Jeffrey Newnham
Jeffrey Newnham
Case Owner
My name is Jeffrey Newnham. I have lived and worked in the Bexhill on Sea area for 35 years raising my 3 children as a single parent whilst operating my farriery business.
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Jeffrey Newnham
Case Owner
My name is Jeffrey Newnham. I have lived and worked in the Bexhill on Sea area for 35 years raising my 3 children as a single parent whilst operating my farriery business.
Pledge now

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Latest: June 20, 2023

N E W W E B S I T E

I post regular updates / interviews/ links on 

www.save-northeye.org

please visit to keep up to date on how things are going 

thank you for your support

Jeff

Read more

I am bringing a challenge against the Secretary of State for the Home Department to stop the inhumane housing of asylum seekers in a former prison at Northeye, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex.

The Northeye Site was originally a WWII RAF Radio Station. From 1969-1992 it became a Category C prison. In 1986, there was a riot resulting in a fire which destroyed 40% of the buildings. From 1993-2010 it was owned by The United Arab Emirates as a military training base. Since 2010 it has been unoccupied and has fallen into disuse.

In March 2023, immigration minister Robert Jenrick announced plans to house single male asylum seekers in military style accommodation across the country.

The Home Office is planning to house 1200 asylum seekers in a squalid former prison and training centre, at HMP Northeye. Vulnerable asylum seekers, which may include victims of torture and trafficking, will be alienated from treatment and support networks. The site is surrounded by residential properties but is otherwise isolated, with only a single petrol station on the main road.  The site is pending results of contamination and environmental surveys, after asbestos was found onsite.

Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council have said they did not receive any notification from the government over their plans, in a joint statement they released. They were only informed of the proposals a few hours prior to the government’s announcement of the plans on the 29th March 2023. Rother District Council have stated that they are currently considering legal options into the matter, and in the meantime are working with various bodies to share residents’ concerns about the proposal.

Over 150 charities have written to the Government saying this site is totally unsuitable, a sentiment echoed by local residents. Many have spoken out against the plans, decrying the use of such accommodation as entirely inappropriate for asylum seekers.

Potential areas of challenge

 The Home Secretary is planning to establish accommodation, as an alternative to hotel accommodation, using emergency powers to grant planning permission for 12 months, without any public consultation.

We are looking to challenge:

  • The decision to circumvent planning laws by applying Class Q emergency planning powers
  • The lack of consultation of local stakeholders
  • The lack of transparency and information about the decision making, in particular the impact on the environment and other factors, given the proximity to the Pevensey Levels.

About me

My name is Jeffrey Newnham. I have lived and worked in the Bexhill on Sea area for 35 years raising my 3 children as a single parent whilst operating my farriery business. I need your help to support a legal challenge against the Home Office’s plans to circumvent planning laws, without the voices of local stakeholders, at risk to both asylum seekers and residents

What are we trying to achieve? 

By bringing this legal case, we are trying to stop the plans going forward, as the Home Office is preparing to purchase the site and accommodate around 800 asylum seekers at Northeye by September.

Residents of Bexhill have expressed their disappointment at the lack of consultation from the government, and have many concerns about the proposals. Following news of the Home Office’s plans, Bexhill residents have protested. Many are concerned about the impact of the plans on council services.

The majority of residents present at the consultation opposed the plans.

In addition to this, protests have been held since the announcement of the proposals, from both pro-refugee and those against the use of the site. Videos from these protests have since been shared by far-right figures on social media, which is concerning, given the incidences of violence against asylum seekers by such groups.

What is the next step in the case?

It is our understanding that the Home Office is yet to complete their purchase of the site. It is nonetheless important that we begin raising funds now to cover the costs of initial preparatory work by the legal team.

How much we are raising and why?

I am seeking to raise £5000 to cover the initial legal costs in this case.

I have instructed a legal team at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, who have experience in challenging unlawful decisions by the Home Office. Some of their work has included a similar challenge to Home Office plans to accommodate asylum seekers in temporary pre-fabricated accommodation next to Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, which had the effect of successfully stopping the plans going forward. 

We plan to engage in communications to comply with the pre-action protocol.  Such communications provides an opportunity to explain the legal and factual basis on which we oppose the proposals, and potentially resolve the issues before bringing court proceedings.

Thank you for your help and assistance.

Update 3

Jeffrey Newnham

June 20, 2023

N E W W E B S I T E

I post regular updates / interviews/ links on 

www.save-northeye.org

please visit to keep up to date on how things are going 

thank you for your support

Jeff

Update 2

Jeffrey Newnham

June 18, 2023

N E W W E B S I T E

Please visit my new website  www.save-northeye.org  for background to the case,  media links, news and updates .

Thank you for your support. Your help has enabled me to take the first steps in my legal challenge.

I am waiting to hear back from my legal team on how much I can disclose publicly....but I couldn't wait to share the exciting news that things are under way !

Best wishes and thank you 

Jeff

Update 1

Jeffrey Newnham

June 8, 2023

Thank you !

Update on Stop the housing of asylum seekers at Northeye, Bexhill-on-Sea

 

Dear supporter,


Apologies for the lack of your name but your details are private to Crowdjustice and I am using their email system to send this message to all donors.


Thank you - two simple words that convey my sincere thanks to you for the trust you have placed in me and in the potential legal process to challenge the Government’s plan to use Northeye as an Accommodation Centre for young male Asylum Seekers.

 

UPDATE-

I launched this Crowd Funding platform on 15th May 2023 and to date, through your generosity, the total raised has reached £16,000.00. This is truly amazing. My lawyers are working on a heavily discounted basis.  Having hit my initial target for a costs cap, I need to raise more that will go towards my legal costs. 


How your donation has been spent:

The money raised can only be accessed by the firm of solicitors, www.DuncanLewis.co.uk

We are currently at the preparatory stage, to bring legal proceedings if necessary.


The uniqueness of Northeye compared to the other sites is that when the government made the announcement to house these asylum seekers, they did not own the site.


REMINDER-

This is a campaign not a sprint! There is so much evidence to collect and assess, this all takes time and money!

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP-

There are many ways to help. You are receiving this email as you have already donated to the legal costs. You can continue to make further donations using the link www.crowdjustice.co/no-to-northeye/. -And tell your friends!


I urge you to keep abreast of new information by visiting my website www.notonortheye.co.uk  you will find links there to Facebook and other information.


You can volunteer and be part of the foot-soldiers who have been responsible for delivering 20,000 leaflets to households. Many Bexhill on Sea residents do not use the internet and we have found that they appreciate information updates on the leaflets. Please email me [email protected] and I will put you in touch with Alison who is looking after leafleting for me.


I cannot sign off this email without thanking you once again for the trust you have placed in me and the course of action I have chosen for Northeye & Bexhill on Sea.


Thank you,

Jeff Newnham




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