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Basildon Council wants to recoup Dale Farm eviction costs
THE “hideous” state of the Dale Farm traveller site is likely to remain unchanged for several months, it has emerged.
Mounds of earth, debris and fly-tipped material now fills the site, which was cleared of pitches during a mass eviction last October.
However, Basildon Council leader Tony Ball said the mess would not be fully cleared until the council had taken action to recover some or all of the costs of the eviction from the traveller landowners.
He also said some of the mounds had been left to stop travellers moving back on to the site.
He said: “There are two issues. One is the bunding is a temporary measure to prevent reoccupation, although there is also an injunction which makes this a criminal offence. The second issue is the recovery of costs.”
He added: Mr Ball said: “I would like to see the bunding gone by the end of the year. We said it was temporary and to me temporary is a year, and not much longer.
“I hope it will be before the end of the year, but will not hold myself to that, as this situation has been dragging.”
The council says it has a £1.2million grant available from the Department for Communi-ties and local government, which could be used to restore the land to green belt.
However, residents living near the site want action sooner.
Len Gridley, 52, of Oak Road, Crays Hill, is preparing to go to court to force the site to be restored sooner.
He said: “The state the land has been left is hideous. How can you call that green belt? I have now got rats running into the bottom of the garden.
“This is with my solicitor. I am looking for a blight notice to be served to say my property has been devalued, and for the court to order the waste removed, because it has no planning permission.”