Bid to halt Dale Farm clearance rejected
A last-ditch bid to halt the clearance of the UK's largest illegal travellers' site has been rejected by an appeal court judge.
The clearance of Dale Farm, near Basildon in Essex, is due to begin on Monday.
Today a judge refused one elderly resident, Mrs Mary Flynn, permission to challenge a recent High Court ruling denying the travellers a temporary injunction to stop their removal.
A spokesman for the Judicial Office said: "An application by Mrs Mary Flynn for permission to appeal Mr Justice Kenneth Parker's decision of 31 August has been refused on the papers."
The spokesman raised the possibility of a renewed application to appeal, but said no stay had been granted so far to halt the clearance.
The eviction follows a decade-long row over unauthorised plots.
Although half of the site is legal, an estimated 400 people are said to be living on 51 unauthorised plots
Small numbers were today reported to have already begun leaving ahead of the clearance, but others have said: "We're staying put."
Travellers and their supporters had pinned their hopes of a possible 11th-hour reprieve because of concerns over the health of 72-year-old Mrs Flynn.
She suffers breathing problems and uses an electric nebuliser and has been the crucial protagonist in the High Court battle.
When he refused the injunction application, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker said the only aspect which gave him some concern was medical evidence received of significant deterioration in Mrs Flynn's condition.
The judge was told by lawyers for Basildon Council, which is in charge of the clearance operations, that this fresh material would be considered before proceeding against her.
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