Travellers to be evicted from Dale Farm on September 19
Irish Travellers living on the UK's largest illegal settlement are to be evicted on September 19 it emerged today.
Basildon Council will begin the clearance of Dale Farm in Essex following a decade-long row over unauthorised properties on the former scrap yard.
Although half of the site is legal, more than 80 properties have no planning permission and about 400 people are said to be living there illegally.
Both travellers and supporters have promised to resist eviction without violence but police have begun preparations for major disorder.
A spokeswoman representing the travellers and their supporters said that, if confirmed, the September 19 date meant a longer time-frame than had been expected.
She added: "We were expecting the eviction to be in that week, but this is later than we had believed.
"The travellers are still digesting the news and a lot of them won't believe it until they see it in black and white.
"For the older residents and those with young children it will give them time to make preparations, but it is not a solution - they still have nowhere to go.
"For the supporters, it will act as a focal point for our peaceful resistance.
"Hopefully, more people will arrive to lend their support now that we have a date."