Travellers pull onto recreation ground in 'Dale Farm' village as TV show about eviction starts
TRAVELLER caravans were pulled onto a recreation ground in the village where the Dale Farm site once stood just as a documentary about the eviction nine years ago was being shown on TV.
About eight caravans were pulled on to the area off Crays Hill, Crays Hill, which has a children's playground at about 9pm on Sunday. At the same time Channel 5 was airing its new documentary Gypsy Eviction: The Battle For Dale Farm, which looked at the notorious eviction of 2011 and the current situation with the land that remains.
Jade Schofield posted about the arrivals on Facebook, saying: "Just as Dale Farm is on the telly."
Villager Mick Kirby wrote that eight caravans had arrived on the land and police were in attendance.
He said the families were thought to have moved there from the Rayleigh area.
Jenny Crabb Bevan posted: "It’s very noisy over there with generators going, shouting and dogs barking. Lots of lights."
Mr Kirby said that by morning a further six caravans had arrived, taking it to 14.
He added: "Basildon Council is aware and we are assured they are taking appropriate action.
"Possibly to issue a section 61 (eviction notice) by the police.
The land is owned by the council.
A council spokesman said: "We’ll do everything we can to find a reasonable solution to the situation.
“Through the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit, Basildon Council is working with Police, who have attended the unauthorised encampment of 16 caravans and a motor home on Crays Hill Recreation ground.
“The Essex Countywide Traveller Unit are now preparing direction to leave notices, and if these are not followed legal proceedings for eviction could then follow.” Police can only use the section 61 powers once the landowners has attempted to get the occupants to move and there has been damage to the property and levels of abuse or if it deprives a local area of a public amenity such as the recreation ground.
An Essex Police spokesman said: "We received a call at around 7.50pm on Sunday September 20 concerning an unauthorised encampment on The Green, Crays Hill.
"We received reports that ten caravans and 15 vehicles accessed the site, which is owned by Basildon Council.
""We are continuing to monitor the situation and we are working closely with our partners."