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Dale Farm site clearance - Key legal milestones

2001 - Council serves first enforcement notices

Basildon Council served the appropriate notices in 2001 and the Travellers brought legal action in an attempt to have these repealed.

In 2003 the First Secretary of State dismissed their appeals but extended the compliance period by two years. However during this time the number of caravans on the site increased significantly.

2005 - Council resolved that direct action was necessary

In June 2005, once the two-year compliance period had lapsed, the Council resolved that direct action was necessary to secure compliance with the notices.

It was this decision (reconsidered in December 2007) that was then made the subject of Judicial Review proceedings, which were heard in February 2008.

2008-2009 - High Court proceedings and subsequent appeal

The High Court found that Basildon Council's decision to proceed with direct action was unlawful. The Council then appealed this decision to the Court of Appeal in December 2008.

The Court of Appeal overturned the High Court decision and found that the Council's decision was lawful.

The travellers' representatives then sought permission to appeal to the House of Lords. This was refused in June of 2009. That decision brought the legal challenge on planning grounds to a close.

Since 2009 - Council plans and prepares for site clearance

Since that date, the Council has, alongside planning and preparing for the site clearances here and elsewhere in the Borough, sought to find a means by which the travellers could leave the site without the need for a forced site clearance.

The Council has also been through a significant procurement process to appoint bailiffs to carry out the operation.

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