Court delays Dale Farm eviction
The residents of Dale Farm have won a last-minute court order delaying their proposed eviction from the Essex site.
The 400 Travellers living on the site won the injunction after bailiffs had earlier moved onto the site to remove campaigners opposing the eviction.
Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart granted the injunction at the High Court yesterday on the basis that the measures to be taken by Basildon Council in evicting the travellers ‘may go further’ than the terms of the enforcement notices. A further hearing will now take place on Friday.
The judge further told the council that the council should serve residents with a schedule, specifying what measure it would be carrying out on a plot by plot basis, by midday today (Tuesday). The residents would then be given until midday on Thursday to respond.
He told Candy Sheridan, vice-chair of the Gypsy Council of North Norfolk, resident Mary Sheridan, volunteer Stuart Carruthers, and the council’s barrister Reuben Taylor: ‘It is in nobody’s interests that we have a riot on this site.
‘There’s got to be a bit of give and take over a limited timeframe to see if the problems can be dealt with in an orderly rather than disruptive way.’
Tony Ball, leader of Basildon council, said: ‘We are clearly disappointed and extremely frustrated with today’s high court decision.
‘We will be setting out our case robustly at Friday’s hearing when we are confident that our original position will be upheld. In the meantime we will be complying fully with the judges ruling.’
Earlier in a dramatic day, residents had cancelled talks with the council over the evictions, accusing Basildon of refusing to engage with them on the issue of alternative accommodation.
The Dale Farm site is home to 87 families, most of whom are Irish Travellers. The residents own the land but do not have planning permission for their dwellings.