Positive Peace | 22.01.2009 13:32
The Court of Appeal has ruled that 1,000 travellers living in Dale Farm in Essex can be moved on by Basildon Council.
Travellers Lose Eviction Ruling
Up to 50 families now face being forcibly removed from their homes from what is the largest traveller community in the UK, including more than 150 children.
Reacting to news evacuation, Dale Farm spokesman Grattan Puxon said: "We are not going to allow (our youngest) to be terrorised.
"We don't want bailiffs to come in, using force and heavy machinery around our children."
Mr Puxon described the petition as "somewhat confusing" and insisted the community was still fighting for a "common sense solution".
He said the travellers would pitch at a site 50 yards south of the contested land, between Dale Farm and the A127, for the next 28 days.
From there, Mr Puxon said, they would make further legal applications.
In May 2005, Basildon Council voted to clear a large part of the settlement. It said that sections of the site had no planning permission.
The High Court rejected the decision, claiming that the council was not offering an acceptable alternative location for the travellers to live. That was overturned by today's ruling, meaning they will be moved on.
"People really fear losing their homes," Joseph Jones, the secretary of the Gypsy Council of England told Sky News prior to the Court of Appeal announcement.
"They have no place to go and will end up on the side of the road." he said.
Travellers first settled at Dale Farm in the 1960s with the then Labour-run council granted planning permission for 40 families.
Since then, though, many more have settled. Most have no planning permission to be on the land which forms part of the Green Belt.
"Everybody should be treated equally," local MP John Baron said.
The Dale Farm case has been registered with the United Nations Advisory Group on Forced Evictions. Their eviction will now be observed by a team of monitors
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