Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Dale Farm travellers lose site bid

Basildon Council removed travellers from Dale Farm after a decade-long row over unauthorised plots

Travellers evicted from the UK's largest illegal settlement have lost their bid for permission to live on a new site.

Former Dale Farm residents launched an appeal against Basildon Council's decision to refuse planning permission for 12 pitches on alternative land at nearby Church Road, Laindon.

However on Friday the Department for Communities and Local Government said it had accepted a planning inspector's recommendation to reject the appeal.

A decision letter said the proposed development would result in the loss of open land and be out of keeping with the surrounding area.

It adds that the development would compromise road safety, have an impact on those living nearby and present a threat to protected species.

Travellers' representative Stuart Hardwicke Carruthers had argued that the proposed pitches on open land would have helped provide accommodation for those displaced by the Dale Farm clearance.

Basildon Council and Essex Police removed families living on the six acre site in Crays Hill in October.

The operation, which cost £7 million and resulted in violent clashes, followed a decade long row over unauthorised plots.

Basildon Council is currently considering fresh action after many of those who lived on Dale Farm settled on a neighbouring legal site, exceeding its authorised capacity.

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