Essex traveller site to be returned to green belt

Work has begun to return a travellers site in Essex to green belt after a group moved off the land.

Bailiffs moved on to the site at Hovefields near Basildon as mechanical diggers began clearing the area.

Basildon District Council has authorised the removal of the hard standing to prevent plots from being used again.

The authority earlier won its fight to evict people from the site and a number of families have since relocated.

The council said it had worked closely with the traveller community to achieve a peaceful settlement.

"Although this is not the beginning of a forced eviction, it is important that residents and travellers realise that this is the start of returning the sites... to their green belt status," it said in a statement.

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