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Travellers move back to Dale Farm

Travellers who fled the UK's largest illegal site amid fears of eviction have moved back in as the barricaded main gate was opened following an 11th-hour court victory.

Residents of Dale Farm in Essex won a court injunction on Monday, preventing the clearance of 51 unauthorised plots until Friday.

The injunction required Basildon Council to give a plot-by-plot breakdown of how they plan to clear Dale Farm in Essex.

In return, the authority wanted residents to stop blocking access to the site and to discourage non-travellers from protesting there.

Travellers at the site opened up its main gate, allowing access for emergency services - and a stream of travellers who had left to come back.

But the move was criticised by Basildon Council leader Tony Ball, who said it was "irresponsible" for travellers who had previously left peacefully to return.

"No efforts have been made to take the main barricade at Dale Farm down either - the gates have simply been opened to allow travellers to return," he said. "The fact that this main barricade has not yet been removed and is unlikely to be shows a blatant disregard for the law and the obligations of the injunction.

"We must not forget that the travellers have used the law to their advantage at numerous times over the past decade and most recently on Monday, yet they seem to want to pick and choose what parts of the law they obey. These actions clearly go against the court order. We have done our bit, and I would continue to urge the travellers to do theirs."

While some families returned to Dale Farm, others were thought to have relocated to other parts of the country, including Luton, where Bedfordshire Police said some 20 caravans had pitched up at Stockswood Park, a large public park on the outskirts of the town.

Luton council said it was made aware of the encampment on Monday and immediately started legal procedure for eviction.


From Belfast Telegraph