Heathrow would not like to see a new immigration detention centre built in Spelthorne, according to an airport official.

The claim was made by Rob Gray, director of community and stakeholder relations at Heathrow , at a meeting arranged by Jim McIrloy, chairman of Stanwell Moor Residents’ Association, in Stanwell Moor Village Hall on Monday July 30.

Draft proposals for expansion released in January showed Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre would be relocated in an expanded airport, and a potential site just north of Stanwell Moor had been identified.

During the meeting Mr Gray said the airport’s preferred option for expansion does not include building an immigration detention centre in the borough although the final decision on where it is placed would be made by the Home Office.

Mr Gray was responding to a member of the public who had asked officials in attendance if discussions had been had about the prospect of a detention centre being placed in the borough.

In response, Daniel Mouawad, chief executive of Spelthorne Borough Council (SBC), said the council is refusing even to discuss the prospect with the airport.

“We are categorically not discussing the prospect at all because we have made it categoric that we will not abide having such a centre on our patch,” he said.

In a previously released ‘list of demands’ , SBC insisted it would not accept the relocation of the detention centre to land inside the borough.

Following on from Mr Mouawad’s answer, Mr Gray said although the airport’s preferred option had not been published, it would not include plans for the centre to be in Spelthorne.

The airport had earmarked an area to north of Stanwell Moor (site 3) for a potential Immigration Removal Centre (Image: Heathrow Airport)


“In our consultation which was as you know full of options and suggestions earlier this year, there were four potential sites for the immigration removal centre which is currently in Harmondsworth,” he said.

“I can tell you that the site in this borough is not our preferred option. We are still in dialogue with the Home Office. It is a home office decision ultimately but it is not our preferred option to put that in this borough.”

The Home Office would only confirm that it was in discussions with the airport about where the new centre will be.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “Four sites in the vicinity are under consideration and Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) have included these options in their recent consultation. The Government continue to work with HAL on this.”

Mr Gray would not confirm what the preferred option for the site, which is just to the north of Stanwell Moor Village Hall, would be.

When asked about other potential development on that site, Mr Gray said: “I can’t answer that at the moment because simply I don’t know. We’re still developing our plans.

Aside from a possible immigration removal centre, in proposals outlined in January, offices or other commercial development such as warehouses were a possibility.

At the same meeting, an email sent from John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow, to Mr McIlroy was read out to the crowd.

In the email Mr Holland-Kaye confirmed the airport is “seriously considering” including Stanwell Moor in it’s Wider Property Offer Zone (WPOZ).

This comes after a long-running campaign by Mr McIlroy and residents to be included in the scheme, which would allow residents to sell their homes to Heathrow for 125% their unaffected market value.