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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 27 March, 2019
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Dale Farm travellers win latest legal battle at the UK High Court

The eviction of residents at the UK’s biggest illegal travellers’ site has been delayed until at least Thursday.

Dale Farm travellers posing for the media, as they await a court ruling on their eviction, at the site in Cray's Hill, near Basildon, Essex.
Dale Farm travellers posing for the media, as they await a court ruling on their eviction, at the site in Cray's Hill, near Basildon, Essex.
Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

RESIDENTS AT THE Dale Farm travellers’ site in Essex have won another legal victory at the UK High Court today, further postponing their planned eviction by the local council.

The judge at the High Court in London, Justice Edwards-Stuart, gave the more than 80 families living on the site a last-minute legal reprieve last week and has said today that he will delay any further decision until Thursday – effectively another legal win for the Dale Farm travellers.

Bailiffs from Basildon Council had been expected to evict the 400 or so people living on the site last week and stand ready to do so but travellers have expressed fear that any evictions would not be carried out lawfully leading to the judge imposed injunction and the delay.

The judge had delayed the eviction last Monday to review the validity of the decision and continues to do so.

The council has indicated it will comply with any court ruling but has insisted that its planned eviction of residents from the biggest illegal traveller site in the UK is legal. It has previously called on families to leave peacefully.

The eviction operation is costing the council some £18 million but the travellers and groups acting on their behalf believe money can be saved and have pushed for further mediation and negotiations, BBC News reports.

The site has been the subject of a ten-year legal battle between residents and the local authorities in Basildon, which lies north of London.

The site was initially a legal one but subsequently a number of extra caravan plots have gone up without planning permission and some local residents have complained.

Read more on the Dale Farm saga >

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Hugh O'Connell

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