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Travellers defend return to Dale Farm


At least 10 families have moved back onto the UK's largest illegal travellers' site after bailiffs completed their clearance operation, with some planning to see out the winter there.

The action to remove caravans and chalets from 51 unauthorised plots on Dale Farm, Essex, ended on Monday after a major police operation. Basildon Council has obtained an injunction to prevent reoccupation of the site, but travellers have parked alongside the plots and say they plan to stay for the winter.

"This isn't home any more. It is cold and like living in a war zone. But we need to stay somewhere," said 67-year-old Daniel Sheridan.

Some said they planned to stay unless the council provided an alternative. Others are resigned to the fact they will be forced to move on.

Patrick Egan, who is entitled to remain in his house on the illegal site, said: "The site is a mess. It's contaminated with asbestos and we have to use a generator for power. We have come back as we have nowhere to go. We fully expect the council to serve notices on us, telling us to leave.

"If that happens, we will occupy car parks and roadsides in Basildon; anywhere that we can get access to."