The never ending saga of Dale Farm Travellers' goes on, it must be one of the longest running Court cases ever. Why is this the case, in my view it is because of the totally inept way Basildon District Council has handled or perhaps I should say more accurately mishandled the whole process of evicting the travellers from the illegal portion of Green Belt land.
I am not sure if the Council were using their own lawyers or lawyers from a private practice, , but either way the residents of Crays Hill should seriously consider bringing their own proceeding for negligence against the Council, as they have suffered much from this matter.
On Tuesday last the Judge awarded the Travellers one third of their legal costs against the Council, which in judicial terms is a way of saying the Council were in some error.
As far as I can see the current position is (subject to what the judge may rule today) 49 plots can be cleared, and 5 must remain, the bailiffs can not remove fences or gates as these do not require Planning Permission in any event even on Green Belt land.
Basildon District Council will have to have a rethink on what if anything they are going to do about the remaining five structures. If it is Green Belt land there must be ways to clear it, apart from "Dale Farm Cottage" as this is legally there.
The Travellers' have run rings around the Local Authority who should and could have more actively challenged the proceeding brought against them.
One way of doing this would be to apply the Rules of Court by applying for proceeding to be struck out because they were "Frivolous or Vexatious or otherwise an Abuse of the process of the Court", this is a very useful tactic against those who bring voluminous action for no good reason.
I do hope that this saga can be brought to a swift end, but I have my doubts. Basildon should take a leaf out of Luton Councils actions against travellers on their land yesterday with the same Company of bailiffs.
Still waiting for Judge in High Court to make final decision, may be later today Thursday
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