Dale Farm clearance cost £7m
Friday 03 February 2012
The cost of clearing the UK's largest illegal travellers' site has been
confirmed as £7 million - but the council in charge has warned that a
fresh enforcement action remains likely.
Basildon Council said it spent £4.8 million on last October's operation to remove families living at Dale Farm, Essex.
This includes £1.6 million spent by the council after the initial attempt in September was delayed by a High Court injunction.
The bill still came in under the authority's £8 million budget, which included a contingency fund.
Essex Police has already announced that it spent £2.4 million on its part in the operation.
Despite coming in under budget, council leader Tony Ball admitted: "The ongoing saga around Dale Farm continues to sadden and annoy me in equal measure.
"It gives me some degree of satisfaction that the operation was carried out under budget and this is thanks to the hard work and professionalism of council staff, our contractors and our partners in the fire, health and police services.
"I was, however, and remain, annoyed that £1.6 million was added to our final bill by the delay and legal costs incurred between September and October when the travellers launched their last-minute legal challenge against the council's right to clear Dale Farm."
The clearance, which resulted in violent clashes, followed a decade-long row over authorised plots on the six-acre site.
Mr Ball said that, other than four plots which are allowed to remain, the site had been cleared.
But he said travellers living on a neighbouring site were continuing to flout the law.
He said: "There are currently a number of caravans parked on the road leading up to the old Dale Farm.
"These are in breach of planning regulations and should not be there. Numbers vary over time as individuals come and go but at the last count there was in the region of 16 units on the road.
"There are also a significant number of caravans crowded on to the legal Oak Lane pitches.
"These pitches are approved to accommodate no more than two caravans, or one caravan and one mobile home.
"On approximately half of these pitches this is being exceeded, again in flagrant disregard of the conditions attached to the planning permission."
Mr Ball said the overcrowding was dangerous and a breach of planning conditions.
"We are aware that some of those now camped on the side of the road and crowded illegally on to Oak Lane came from the original illegal Dale Farm settlement," he said.
"We are also aware that there are a number of new faces among this makeshift community.
"The situation at Oak Lane is unacceptable and this council will not tolerate it.
"We have appealed to those present to move on but these appeals have not been heeded.
"We are working to a clear timetable and time for those travellers illegally occupying this part of Cray's Hill is running out."
David Cameron stung by jellyfish: PM hurt after ignoring advice of locals while on holiday
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
Peaches Geldof funeral: Private ceremony to be held at same place as her mother Paula Yates on Easter Monday
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...