Travellers given further reprieve

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Attempts to evict about 200 travellers from their homes in Essex were frustrated again yesterday, after a High Court judge delayed his decision on whether to allow bailiffs in until Monday.

The court was also told that two applications to bring separate judicial reviews are planned by residents of Dale Farm and their supporters, which, if accepted, could cause the 10-year battle to be dragged out still further. The operation is already estimated to eventually cost around £18m.

A final decision had been expected following Monday's last-minute reprieve, granted as bailiffs gathered outside the gates of the UK's biggest traveller site.

Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart said the hearings could not be "used as yet another springboard for delay" but an immediate decision was impossible. Tony Ball, the leader of Basildon Council, said he was "somewhat disappointed".