Dale Farm Travellers Apply For English Heritage Status To Protect Scaffold Tower
Travellers resisting eviction from Dale Farm have applied to English Heritage to gain official protection for the scaffold tower erected at the entrance to the site.
The Dale Farm Solidarity campaign claims the structure is not covered by the current planning notices issued by Basildon Council against the residents.
The application argues "The Dale Farm gateway is part of history in the making".
Kathleen McCarthy, who has frequently been seen on television speaking on behalf of the travellers who live on the site, said the tower meant a lot to the residents.
"We're here to fight for our rights to a normal family life, for our children to get an education and for us to have security for our homes,"she said.
"The tower is all that stands between ourselves and the bailiffs. As long as it remains standing, we know that there are people outside our community who still care about our rights."
The move is likely to further infuriate the council who have been attempting to remove unauthorised structures from parts of the site for a decade.
The estimated cost of the eviction and associated police operation is estimated at £18 million.
Further delays are likely to only increase the cost.
The council had hoped to begin evicting travellers from the site on September 19, but a series of court injunctions have delayed the operation.
The latest court ruling is due to be handed down on Thursday.
While the High Court in London does not dispute the right of the council to remove illegal structures , it has raised concerns that bailiffs may "over enforce" the eviction notice and remove those that do not violate the law.