Essex

Dale Farm eviction: Notices to remove homes served

Notices detailing how travellers' homes will be removed from Dale Farm in Essex have been placed around the site by council officials.

Basildon Council said the homes would be removed "with care" and then roads and concrete torn up.

Fences and walls would be demolished to allow access, although they would be reinstated.

Forty-nine of the 52 plots will be removed by bailiffs who moved on to the site on Thursday.

The majority of the clearance is likely to get under way on Monday.

Despite a mass walk-out of travellers and supporters from the illegal part of Dale Farm on Thursday, up to 30 people spent the night inside the site.

'Very lonely'

Among them was Margaret Flynn, who is entitled to keep her caravan on the site, although the concrete area will be removed.

She said: "We hardly slept last night, the kids just kept thinking about what had happened and how the police came into the site.

"I'm entitled to stay but it is not home any more. It felt very lonely in here.

"My family slept on the legal side and I just want to be with them."

Basildon Council said its objectives for Friday were to maintain access to and from the site and help with voluntary departures.

Gypsy Council member Candy Sheridan said: "We are here to make sure they go about their job lawfully.

"If they demolish walls, we will make sure they restore them with precisely matching bricks. If they damage property they are not entitled to damage, we will claim for it.

"Travellers may have walked out of the site, but for us this is not over."

'Normal policing'

A council spokesman said it would be pursuing the travellers for some of the costs incurred because of the delays to the eviction caused by legal wrangling.

Last week the High Court ruled the travellers would have to pay some of the legal costs.

It could mean that the travellers would have to sell some of their land.

Essex Police have returned to "normal neighbourhood policing at the site" and will remain on site while bailiffs continue with the evictions.

A total of 38 people have been arrested since 19 October.

The clearance follows a decade-long row over unauthorised plots.

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