Details of Dale Farm traveller site eviction costs released

Dale Farm
Image caption Traveller families began to set up pitches illegally on green belt land at Dale Farm in 2001

Details have been outlined of how the multimillion-pound costs to evict travellers and Gypsies from an illegal site in Essex will be met.

Policing the clearance of Dale Farm, near Basildon, could cost up to £9.5m.

The first £2.5m costs are to be met by Essex Police Authority (EPA). The next £2.4m is to be shared equally between the Home Office and Basildon Council.

The next £2.3m costs are to be met by the Home Office alone and it will share the remaining £2.3m costs with EPA.

'Not above law'

Basildon Council is expected to serve notice on the travellers shortly.

Conservative MP for Basildon and Billericay John Baron said: "This funding sends a clear message that no one individual or group is above the law.

"Once again, I urge the travellers at the illegal Dale Farm site to now move off peacefully, as no one wants to see the misery of a forced eviction.

"If not, the eviction will proceed for it is only fair the law is enforced without exception."

The Dale Farm Residents Association said it was "regrettable" that while planning permission was being sought for sites nearby people on the site could be made homeless.

Traveller families began to set up pitches illegally on greenbelt land at Dale Farm, between Basildon and Billericay, in 2001.

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