Dale Farm Eviction Decision Delayed By High Court Until Monday

A High Court judgement on the eviction of travellers from Dale Farm in Essex has been delayed until Monday afternoon following a hearing at the London court.

Justice Edwards-Stuart told the High Court on Friday afternoon that the eviction would go ahead, but it had to be done in a way which treated the travellers with "dignity".

"The ultimate eviction which is, in many cases, going to happen must be carried out, in so far as possible, with people knowing exactly what is going on, what is going to happen and in a way which causes minimum alarm to children and others," he said.

"It can't be used as yet another springboard for delay."

The Dale Farm travellers won a last-minute reprieve on Monday when an injunction was granted to delay the eviction, originally scheduled for that day, after the court asked to hear arguments from both sides on precisely which plots could be removed by the council.

Speaking outside the High Court on Friday, Tony Ball, the leader of Basildon Council, said he did not mind having to wait a "few more days" to begin the operation.

"I am immensely proud with the way our council puts the council position, and after ten years if it means just a few more days then its worth it," he said.

"I am clear as i said this morning that the public the travellers and the council need a resolution to this."

However ongoing delays are mounting the cost of the operation, which was already estimated at £18million.

Justice Edwards-Stuart had said the measures due to be taken by the council "may go further" than the terms of the enforcement notices and needed to be considered by the court.

In July the council won the right to remove the travellers from the former scrapyard following a decade long planning dispute.

But the legal battle between the council and the travellers could go on for much longer after it emerged that at least two further applications for judicial review are now planned planned to prevent the eviction.

Many residents on the site had pledged to resist their eviction. In anticipation of the arrival of bailiffs at the start of this week travellers and protestors created rudimentary fortifications inside the camp, barricading themselves in alongside supporters.

While the 86 traveller families own the land, the council said 51 plots had been built on without planning permission.