Thursday, 17 April 2014

Dale Farm cleared as council moves off site

An illegal Travellers’ site which was the subject of a controversial legal wrangle has been cleared by the council.

Dale Farm in Basildon, Essex, has had all 51 plots cleared of caravans, mobile homes, portable structures and hard standing.

Contractors and the council have now moved off the site, which was formerly home to hundreds of Travellers.

Last month, the council won the right to evict people from illegal pitches and a series of violent clashes erupted as bailiffs and police forced their way through barricades.

Tony Ball, leader of the council, said: ‘I am pleased that the work to clear Dale Farm has been completed so quickly and in a dignified and safe manner. 

‘I would like to thank our officers, contractors and partners for the professionalism with which they have carried out what was a difficult task.

‘I would also like to thank the residents of Crays Hill for their patience during this operation, particularly those living closer to the site.

‘However, I would urge caution and remind residents that there are still issues to be resolved.

‘This is not the end of the project for the council, and we have a number of outstanding issues to work through, including seeking recovery of costs for the delay caused by the injunction and the overall costs of the operation. 

‘This is a complicated and lengthy process, but one that we are committed to. 

‘We are also committed to restoring Dale Farm to a site in keeping with its green belt status, and would remind people that the bunding in place is only a temporary measure.

‘Now that the site clearance has been completed we will turn our attention to any remaining breaches of planning regulations on the site and also any new breaches at the authorised Oak Lane site.

‘I would now urge travelling communities to engage with local their authorities across the country. 

‘They must seek planning permission before any more development of sites take place and this is regardless to the fact that they may own the land.

‘Travellers must comply with the law in the same way as everyone else. Nobody wants to see another Dale Farm.’

Readers' comments (12)

  • Travellers have a right to a home just the same as the rest of us. Are you aware how much more difficult it is for a Traveller to gain planning permission than any of the rest of us? The poor families who were evicted from their own land at Dale Farm ,Crays Hill, had health needs, children happy and doing well in school and a host of other issues. Also on another point the site was 'unauthorised' not illegal until provne to be so. I am a councillor with a local authority and my sympathies are with the traveller families who now have nowhere to live. When will society stop being so blatently racist to traveller families.

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  • F451

    Why would people not wish to see "another Dale Farm" - it is still there, along with the legal settlements, which now have the virgin site on their doorstep, cleared of the former scrap yard, and open to application under John Major's 1994 act allowing Gypsies and Travellers to settle on a site and apply to remain there - just as I believe these particular travellers did originally and were granted permission as a result.

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  • F451

    On a point of clarity Cllr Ball says they have cleared all 51 plots, yet there were 54 plots and leave was only given to clear 49 of them - has the Council got a little carried away or was the order amended?

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  • well as it all goes wrong, on this occasional memorable time in the media, it's left for those to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives,children and the family left dangling once more in legal statue to, do defend their rights of a nomad nature. the homeless situation is increasing due to the greedy wealthy of this country the banker's, the government the unemployment.wake up people this is our time lets speak out and bring those to justice that suppress us.they legaly lost but morally won,power to the people or they win driving us down,bit by bit one by one.by saying im not affected is living blind,until you see.

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  • well said liz wakefeild

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  • Melvin Bone

    AW: 'left for those to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives' and move back to their houses in Ireland...

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  • The majority of these travellers have homes back in Co Limerick that are worth far more than a 3 bed semi in this country. They chose to live the life of a "traveller" but don't wish to abide by the law that would mean them paying the likes of council tax, utility standing charges etc... yet able to claim on social benefits etc from the good ole tax payers.... I don't see this as the end of it as they will set up somewhere else, and did we not see reports of them going to Stockwood park in Luton.....and it starts all over again !

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  • F451

    Melvin - One Voice - please could you qualify your statement infering and quoting respectively that the majority of the Dale Farm Travellers own property in Ireland.

    You will find that whilst a few of those at Dale Farm do own other property, these are not in the majority as you falsely claim. It is one of the problems when those with an agenda feed facts into a mix that can be taken up by the ignorant or others with agenda so that those facts can be exagerated and eventually lies presented as quoted fact.

    For instance, the electrical supply to Dale Farm was legally provided and paid for, yet One Voice accuses illegality and theft.

    It will be a tragedy for such people if the Sun Newspaper follows the News of the World and closes - who will do their thinking for them then I wonder.

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  • Wanton vandalism. There are plenty of ugly, alienating and frankly unfit for purpose council developments that could benefit from the same treatment; demolition. How does this action benefit the borough? Will admit to having as much sympathy for travellers per se as they have respect for us: nil. But that segment aside, travellers' rights are our rights too; the freedom and right to travel and the right to abode. The right to be left in peace provided we keep the peace.

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  • F451

    The real irony of all this is if the fruitcakes like Venk and Co get their way, and people are forced to move out of the areas where they have work but for too little pay, then temporary and transitional accomodation will become the norm for the low paid Millions.

    People sleeping in their cars, in tents, in caravans, parked up on greens and parks all over the place, making the best sanitation arrangements that they can (like only peeing in the gutter).

    No doubt once this is achieved the same sanctemonious group will call for legal action to clear these 'crusties' from view - to where exactly.

    Those incapable of joined up thinking, or of seeing their own reliance on those carrying out low paid work, really need a wake up call before their damaging ways become irreversable.

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