UK High court judgment to evict the largest illegal travellers’ site

Dale Farm travellers' activities to save eviction

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Dale Farm travellers' activities to save evictionResidents at the largest illegal travellers’ site, Dale Farm camp have lost their battle to remain at the site after a high court judge, Mr. Justice Ouseley has passed a ruling on Wednesday that a local council could evict them.

The case has affected 51 plots and up to 400 people living on the Dale Farm camp that is on green belt outside Basildon, who have won the support of high profile figures including the Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave.

Bailiffs were declined from Entering Dale Farm near Basildon, Essex in July after residents won the chance of a High Court challenge. The battle to evict the land from the travellers has lasted almost a decade, costing Basildon council millions in the process.

The clearance of the six-acre site was halted on 4 July when lawyers for the travellers were able to obtain a High Court injunction preventing bailiffs moving in while the courts were asked to rule on several areas of contention. The group from Dale Farm in Essex had tried to stop the process with three applications for judicial review. But Mr. Justice Ouseley has refused all three saying it was quite surprising that residents had delayed their legal action almost to the day of eviction. The travellers have been told that they can lodge a further appeal.

The travellers own the 2.4-hectare site but lack obtaining planning permission to build on it. But the travellers have obtained celebrity support while the case, in combination with a series of colourful television documentaries, has sparked debate about the treatment of the nomadic Irish traveller communities in Britain. The Court of Appeal previously ruled against the travellers on a human rights-based application in 2009.

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