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Dale Farm costs and statement on current position

Current position

April 2013

Dale Farm site and surrounding area Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser windowAs part of the process to recover the costs of the Dale Farm site clearance that took place in October 2011, charges totally £4.3m have now been registered with the Land Registry against the landowners of Dale Farm.

Cllr Tony Ball, leader of the council, says:

"The Council has always been committed to recovering the costs of the action that we have taken to date at Dale Farm, and this is part of that lengthy process.

"The release of these detailed figures is the culmination of a lot of hard and detailed work to ensure that the correct charges with the Land Registry is put on each individual plot.

"I feel very strongly that the council has a duty to go through this process and levy these charges on the land."

  • Travellers site at Dale Farm Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
    Click on images to see full size photos.
    General costs of the clearance such as the set up, the compound and security were split equally across all plots.
  • Other general costs such as removal of hardstanding (as applicable) and the creation of bunding were apportioned by the percentage of land on the site.
  • Specific costs such as removal of caravans, static homes and buildings have been charged to those individual plots.
  • Some of the costs were not apportioned to the owners of the land, this includes some council costs, fuel and animal welfare.

Approximately £1.6 million is attributed to spending between September and October when the council was tied up in the high court defending against last minute injunctions and judicial reviews.

The police costs were calculated at £2.36 million compared to the £10 million that was originally budgeted in the event of a worst case scenario. 

Background

Dale Farm is a six acre plot of land, including the site of a former scrap yard, in the village of Crays Hill. Since 2001 travellers breached planning law by setting up homes in caravans, developing hard standings and road access across the site. There were 51 illegal pitches involving up to 240 people on the site prior to the site clearance.

Next to the former Dale Farm site there is also an authorised travellers' site known as Oak Lane, which is legal and which gained planning permission between 1992 and 1996. The Oak Lane site provides 34 legal pitches.

In July 2011, Basildon Council issued a 28 day notice to travellers occupying the unauthorised pitches on the site known as Dale Farm, requiring them to vacate the land in accordance with enforcement notices served over many previous years. This notice expired at midnight Wednesday 31 August.

A last minute injunction logged in the high court by the travellers was dismissed on Wednesday 31 August. In reaching his decision the High Court judge ruled that there should be finality in the legal proceedings and that human rights had been considered at every step of the process.


The site clearance of Dale Farm began on 19 October 2011. 
 

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