Dale Farm Travellers Lose Eviction Ruling

Mark mark at tlio.org.uk
Thu Jan 22 18:39:47 GMT 2009

Dale Farm Travellers Lose Eviction Ruling
from Sky News, courtesy of Indymedia | 22.01.2009 13:32

The Court of Appeal has ruled that 1,000 travellers living in Dale Farm in
Essex can be moved on by Basildon Council.

Travellers Lose Eviction Ruling
Up to 50 families now face being forcibly removed from their homes from
what is the largest traveller community in the UK, including more than 150

Reacting to news evacuation, Dale Farm spokesman Grattan Puxon said: "We
are not going to allow (our youngest) to be terrorised. We don't want
bailiffs to come in, using force and heavy machinery around our children."

Mr Puxon described the petition as "somewhat confusing" and insisted the
community was still fighting for a "common sense solution".

He said the travellers would pitch at a site 50 yards south of the
contested land, between Dale Farm and the A127, for the next 28 days. From
there, Mr Puxon said, they would make further legal applications.
In May 2005, Basildon Council voted to clear a large part of the
settlement. It said that sections of the site had no planning permission.
The High Court rejected the decision, claiming that the council was not
offering an acceptable alternative location for the travellers to live.
That was overturned by today's ruling, meaning they will be moved on.
"People really fear losing their homes," Joseph Jones, the secretary of
the Gypsy Council of England told Sky News prior to the Court of Appeal

"They have no place to go and will end up on the side of the road." he said.
Travellers first settled at Dale Farm in the 1960s with the then
Labour-run council granted planning permission for 40 families.
Since then, though, many more have settled. Most have no planning
permission to be on the land which forms part of the Green Belt.
"Everybody should be treated equally," local MP John Baron said.
The Dale Farm case has been registered with the United Nations Advisory
Group on Forced Evictions. Their eviction will now be observed by a team
of monitors.

MONITOR FOR THE LIKELY EVICTION (date of eviction will most likely be
known in advance) - predicted to occur towards the end of February, THEN
PLEASE CONTACT Grattan Puxon on: 01206 523528 or email: 
dale.farm at btinternet.com

Dale Farm, virtually a village established in rural Essex, is the home of
some one thousand Travellers and Gypsies, recognized as ethnic
groups under UK law.

In May 2005 Basildon District Council voted to clear a large part of
Dale Farm and nearby Hovefields Avenue, and set aside a fund of
three million Euro for this purpose, claiming that the hundred families
involved had developed their homes without authority and were residing in
a restricted greenbelt zone.

Enforcement Notices served upon our community were successfully
contested in the High Court when in a judicial review ruling, Mr Justice
Collins made it clear no eviction should take place unless acceptable
alternative accommodation was provided. In his ruling on the 9th May 2008,
Justice Collins was particularly critical of the violent methods used by
Constant & Co., the firm of bailiffs that had carried out previous
evictions and urged Basildon Council not to hire the firm again. Justice
Collins writes that he watched video footage of one eviction and found the
bailiffs' conduct "unacceptable." Even the presence of police had "failed
to curb the excesses", he wrote.

However, on Thursday 22nd January 2009, BDC sucessfully won their appeal
against this ruling, claiming that it is unable to accommodate the several
hundred persons who would be rendered homeless, who include some l50
children and young people.

By Jon Austin

COUNCIL chiefs admit if Travellers are evicted they could be able to move
a few hundred metres to a “tent city” - and stay for a month.

A year ago the Echo exclusively revealed hundreds of Travellers faced with
eviction from Dale Farm in Crays Hill planned to set up the makeshift
refugee camp on land they own between the site and the A127.
On Thursday the Court of Appeal will rule if the evictions at Dale Farm and
Hovefields, Wickford, can go ahead.

However, the council today admitted even if it does move hundreds of
people from Dale Farm, they could legally move into tents on the strip of
land for up to 28 days. The community has stockpiled six tents, two
marquees, l5 wooden sheds and ten portable toilets. Campaigner Grattan
Puxon said: “We made an approach to Clive Simpson, head of planning, who
assured that a period of 28 days would be allowed before planning consent
was required."
Neil Costen, council enforcement manager, said: "Restrictions do not
preclude the land from being used from a variety of temporary uses for a
period of not more than 28 days in any calendar year."

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list