Travellers bitter choice: imprisonment or eviction

diggers350 tony at
Wed Nov 6 15:27:40 GMT 2002

Travellers lose court fight

TRAVELLERS have failed in a High Court bid to be allowed to stay on 
land in Paynes Lane, Nazeing.o

The travellers were ordered to leave in July, but stayed pending the 
outcome of their appeal.

Most of the travellers were given two months to leave, although one 
family where the mother was pregnant was given an additional two 
months to vacate the site.

The travellers appealed against the judgement on the grounds that 
their human rights had not been taken into account by the court when 
it reached its decision.

Nazeing MP Bill Rammell said: "This is a wholly justified decision 
which will bring enormous relief to the residents of Paynes Lane 
whose lives have been blighted by the anti-social behaviour of a 
minority of travellers.

"It is a great result and one that I have been lobbying for and 
working with residents, Epping Forest Council and their legal team to 

He added: "I hope this result will help the residents of Paynes Lane 
return to some sort of normality and restore some of their faith in 
the legal system.

"In the last few months the Government has already listened to our 
concerns and announced tougher eviction powers for the police to act 
against unauthorised encampments.

"I will now be lobbying the Government to ensure that further changes 
are made so that cases like this cannot be prolonged through the 
courts in future."

Epping Forest Council's planning and economic development portfolio 
holder Dorothy Paddon welcomed the decision adding: "The message from 
the courts is clear and the travellers should leave Paynes Lane now."

She added: "The case has highlighted weaknesses in the system which 
allow illegally camped travellers to use the court process to delay 
judgements to move them on.

"The judge has supported the view of the council and local residents 
and refused to allow the appeal to go forward.

"I hope this means we are now approaching the final chapter of a long 
and frustrating case. The residents of Paynes Lane have suffered 
enough and the travellers should go.

"We have lobbied for a change in the law to prevent these kind of 
delays. With the help of our MPs, I hope the Government will listen 
and the rights of residents of the district are protected as 
vigorously as the rights of the travellers in future."

A council spokesman said a letter would be delivered to the 
travellers giving them 14 days to leave.

He added: "If they do not leave within the deadline we will return to 
court for committal proceedings to seek their imprisonment."

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