Travellers braced for eviction after losing last-ditch court case

Residents of the UK's largest Travellers' site were braced for mass eviction last night after failing in their last-ditch attempt to save their homes at the High Court.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the community failed to win a temporary injunction preventing Basildon Borough Council from evicting the families from Dale Farm in Essex from midnight. The case hinged on the circumstances of 72-year-old Mary Flynn, who suffers breathing problems and uses an electric nebuliser.

The High Court in London dismissed the application but Basildon Borough Council gave a legal undertaking to review fresh medical evidence relating to Mrs Flynn before proceeding against her.

Mr Justice Kenneth Parker said that 2009 proceedings in the Court of Appeal relating to Dale Farm were of "crucial significance". That court concluded that the council's decision to enforce was entirely lawful. Yesterday, the judge rejected claims that a further step had to be taken enabling some individuals to have access to an independent tribunal. Refusing the injunction, he said the only aspect which gave him some concern was medical evidence of significant deterioration in Mrs Flynn's condition since the Court of Appeal decision.

Kathleen McCarthy, 48, a Dale Farm resident, said outside court: "What I understood by it is we've got seven days to hand in all the reports about all the sick people, and they're going to take another seven days reading it and looking at it.

"Well that's still 14 days for us. It's really a lot for us. To us, it is a lifetime. We have nowhere else to go and people are dying."

The Travellers at Dale Farm own the site but do not have planning permission for some of the plots there. Demonstrators, among them the actress and campaigner Vanessa Redgrave, gathered outside the court to oppose the eviction.

Speaking after the judgment, Ms Redgrave was downbeat. "I cannot bear it," she said. "I am not attacking the judge but all I can see is that peoples' lives are going to pot everywhere, not just at Dale Farm. They are making out that Dale Farm residents are the villains but they are not; they are decent people. They will be forced to live by the side of the road if they are evicted."

Inside court, she was embraced by one of the residents who, sobbing, asked her: "What will become of my children?" Campaigners set up Camp Constant at Dale Farm over the weekend to support the Travellers' cause.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory