Dale Farm travellers: More enforcement action

Travellers were evicted from Dale Farm, near Basildon, on October 19
Image caption Caravans have returned to land near Dale Farm in Essex

Fresh action is being prepared to remove caravans from land near the Dale Farm travellers' site in Essex, a council has said.

Basildon Council said the number of caravans on a neighbouring legal site had exceeded capacity.

The move could see bailiffs and police return for a second time.

Last year's clearance of UK's largest illegal travellers' settlement resulted in violent clashes.

Planning row

A Basildon Council spokesman said: "From a legal point of view, we are treating this as a separate case from the Dale Farm clearance so the process has had to begin from scratch."

The council is assessing how many people living on the legal site are not entitled to be there.

The clearance of Dale Farm was completed in November after Essex Police removed protesters.

An estimated 80 families were evicted from the six-acre site following a decade-long planning row over the settlement on green belt land.

Within weeks, at least 10 families had moved back on to roads inside the site.

Although the illegal part of the site is now clear, it is estimated there are around 50 caravans parked illegally in the area, both on the roadside and on the legal site, taking it above its 34-plot authorised capacity.

The council said it had not yet calculated the total cost of the original operation as it awaits invoices from contractors.

But a spokesman said the authority was "confident" the cost would come in under the £8 million budget.

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