Travellers facing eviction given breathing space
Published 24/09/2011 | 05:00
Residents facing the threat of eviction from the UK's largest illegal Travellers' site have been given more breathing space over the weekend.
A judge yesterday continued an existing injunction until 4pm on Monday to prevent Basildon Council in Essex from clearing the Dale Farm site.
Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart is having to decide whether the injunction should be continued further and said he hoped to give his decision on Monday.
Marc Willers, appearing for the Dale Farm residents, said that the residents were applying for permission to seek a judicial review on the grounds that the whole eviction process was "disproportionate".
The possibility of the long-running battle over the future of the site being settled quickly was put in doubt when the judge was told two fresh applications for judicial review to stop the evictions were now pending. If they go ahead, they could add thousands of pounds more to the already huge legal bill generated by the Dale Farm saga over a decade. The clearance could cost the British taxpayer £18m (€20.6m).
Council officials said the site -- thought to be home to around 400 travellers -- contains about 50 illegal pitches.