Final travellers leave illegal Hovefields site

Basildon District Council gave 28 days' notice for those living on the site to leave the camp

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The last remaining travellers living on an illegal site in Essex have moved on after bailiffs began clearing the site.

Last month, Basildon District Council gave those living on the greenbelt site at Hovefields Drive in Basildon 28 days to leave the camp.

On Tuesday, the council began work to clear seven unauthorised pitches from the site.

The travellers have now moved to nearby land.

Gratton Puxon, a founder of the Gypsy Council, said earlier: "We're very alarmed by this. We hope people will have some sympathy with families who look like being put out and have nowhere to go."

Basildon Council leader Tony Ball said: "This action, which is supported by the courts, is the final part of a legal process which has lasted many years.

"The council has done all it can to encourage the travellers to vacate voluntarily. However, Basildon Council has an obligation to protect its greenbelt from unauthorised development."

Hovefields has been the subject of a number of enforcement notices dating back to 1998.

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