Dale Farm: Plot holders get detailed eviction schedules

  • Published
Media caption,

Dale Farm resident Kathleen McCarthy says that she will fight on "to the bitter end"

Basildon Council has sent out detailed eviction notices relating to each of the 51 illegally occupied plots at the travellers' site at Dale Farm in Essex.

Travellers have been granted an injunction until Friday preventing the council entering the site to clear the unauthorised plots.

The council said the eviction could take place on Friday if their legal challenge to the injunction succeeds.

A number of residents who also left the site are thought to be returning.

A spokesman for Basildon Council said enforcement schedules setting set out the precise action the authority intended to take had been sent by email to the travellers' senior representative, Candy Sheridan, for her to distribute.

The council said that, should the injunction be overturned, travellers will be liable for all costs incurred by the delay.

Council leader Tony Ball said he was frustrated by the action but added that he was confident the ruling would be overturned once the authority presented its case to the court.

Media caption,

Basildon Council leader Tony Ball says he is "disappointed and frustrated"

He said the injunction was granted because the judge at the Royal Courts of Justice wanted more information.

"On Friday when the court hears the council's case we will be back in the position we were in on Monday," he said.

As many as 400 people have been living on 51 unauthorised caravan plots at Dale Farm.

Mr Ball said: "If we did not enforce the judgement we have been granted here then how could any other local authority in the country impose planning controls?

"We cannot turn a blind eye to this. We have been waiting for 10 years so another few days will not matter."

Residents said they would be looking at ways to turn touring caravans into permanent dwellings in an attempt to thwart planners.

Spokeswoman Kathleen McCarthy said: "We met last night and we are more determined than ever to stay."

Fulfilling injunction

Basildon Council confirmed that if it succeeded in overturning the injunction, action could recommence within hours.

The Dale Farm Solidarity campaign pledged that the main gate would be opened to allow residents to return and for the school bus to collect children.

Campaigner Sam Walters said: "Basildon Council must take this time to fulfil its responsibility to find and approve a legal and culturally suitable site for the Dale Farm community.

"It is imperative that the council engages in a meaningful and appropriate way with residents in fulfilling the injunction."

Image caption,
Travellers bought the scrapyard several years ago, but the council never gave planning permission for caravan plots on the extended site.

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