CAMPAIGNERS against a controversial asylum seeker centre near York are mounting a two-pronged bid to stop it.

Villagers have been told the Home Office plans to move the first of 1,500 male migrants onto the former RAF Linton-on-Ouse base within six weeks.

So many local residents are worried about the effect of the proposal on their small village and their safety, for the second time in days the village's hall was packed out for a meeting on the subject with many people unable to get in.

They heard that the migrants would be able to come and go as they wished for months while their cases are being considered, apart from some who would be kept in a detention centre.

The village's MP Kevin Hollinrake told the meeting he has already consulted lawyers about mounting a legal challenge to the plans.

"We have got right on our side, we have the law on our side. If we take the Home Office to court, we can win," he said.

The policy was all right on a national level but the the centre would be in the wrong place.

"It cannot be right to sacrifice one village for the interests of the nation," he said.

Some villagers told the meeting they couldn't sleep at night for fear and others raised concerns about women and families in Linton-on-Ouse.

They also described how the plans would more than double the number of people in the village and there was nothing for the migrants to do.

The MP said that Home Office guidance is for asylum seekers to be housed in cities, not rural areas.

"There is no way to mitigate your concerns," he told villagers. "The only way forward for these plans is to scrap them."

He hoped that Home Secretary Priti Patel would "see sense" and take the plans back to the drawing board without the need for the courts to get involved.

But if his meetings and conversations at Westminster didn't succeed, the next stage would be a legal challenge.

Cllr Mark Robson, leader of Hambledon District Council, said the centre couldn't go ahead without planning permission - which it doesn't have.

After hearing villagers say work had already begun on the base, he said he would send planning enforcement officers to the site on Monday to try and stop any development going on there without planning permission.

And he had started discussions within his council about taking legal action over the proposals.

North Yorkshire Police assistant chief constable Elliot Foskett told the meeting the base was not secure and he needed more information from the Home Office so he could plan how to maintain public safety in the area.

The county's fire, police and crime commissioner Zoe Metcalfe told residents: "Your safety is my priority. I will make sure we get additional resources to make sure you feel safe."