Council poised for new eviction at Dale Farm

COUNCIL bosses are gearing up for another Dale Farm eviction.

Travellers living next to the former illegal site have failed in a bid to block their removal.

The Government’s planning inspector has thrown out an appeal by people living in 30 caravans in Oak Lane, next to the legal site.

They have until September 29 to leave, or face council action.

The news came as Lord Avebury said families there were living in “sub-Third World” conditions.

The Lib Dem peer went to the site, in Crays Hill, on Friday with Labour MP Andrew Slaughter as part of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gipsies, Roma and Travellers’ visit to mark almost 12 months since the clearance.

He appealed for Basildon Council to spend its res- ources on providing alternative accommodation, instead of further evictions.

Lord Avebury spoke of his hopes for a planning application for 15 caravan pitches for the most vulnerable families at Gardiners Close, Basildon.

He said: “I can’t imagine what the council will do if the travellers move from this lane to another part of the local authority area.

“Some serious thought must be given to a long-term solution, because the council does not want to keep spending on evictions.

“Millions spent on the last eviction did not solve the problem. I think the last eviction turned out to be an appalling waste of money.

“Many of the people are still here, but they are living in sub-Third World conditions. What I saw was diabolical. There was no running water, no electricity, no showers or toilets.

“There is a lot of clinical depression on the site. I was dismayed to find a lot of serious illness.

The travellers moved to Oak Lane after their £8million eviction from Dale Farm last October.

A council spokesman said: “The inspector ruled out an appeal because they were unable to prove they had a legal interest in the land as they are not the registered owners.”

Councillors are expected to vote over what action to take at the development control committee.

Stuart Hardwick Carruthers, a campaigner for the families, said: “We are looking to appeal the inspector’s decision at the High Court.”

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