Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Travellers now facing fresh eviction notices - Basildon

EVICTION notices are set to be served on Travellers living at the overcrowded legal site at Dale Farm “within weeks”.

Several families who left Dale Farm, at Crays Hill, during the eviction in October have pulled on to vacant legal pitches and also in the road alongside, where they are not permitted to stay.

Maximum occupancy levels are now thought to be being breached on the site. Basildon Council planning officers yesterday carried out a survey to check the numbers on the legal site and said action is due to take place imminently.

Basildon Council leader Tony Ball said: “We are aware of breaches of conditions at the legal Oak Lane site and breaches on the roadside. Preparations for enforcement are under way. The serving of any enforcement papers would be weeks, rather than months.

“Enforcement notices are also being prepared for outstanding breaches at the illegal Dale Farm site and are due to be served by the end of the month.”

The council used a six-monthly Traveller count, which all authorities must undertake, to check the caravans at Oak Lane. The figures will be published shortly.

Mr Ball added: “The council remains committed to returning Dale Farm to a site in keeping with its green belt status and recovering the costs of the operation.”

Neighbours who are fed up with the overcrowded legal site have called for action.

David McPherson-Davis, a parish councillor, said: “We were given no date of when the action will be taken over the legal site.

“They don’t seem to be in any hurry at the moment. Hopefully, now the count has been carried out, enforcement notices will be served, so there are no more planning breaches.”

Len Gridley, 53, from Oak Road, said: “It was decided if we don’t get any answers by the end of the month we will call a meeting with the MP John Baron.”

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