A PLANNED eviction of nearly 90 families from the illegal Dale Farm traveller site could cost up to £10million in policing costs alone.

The proposed operation is expected to last at least two weeks and Essex Police have calculated it will result in a minimum bill of £2million, rising to £10million if violence flares.

The potential high costs are being blamed as one of the reasons Basildon Council is controversially selling off playing fields to fund the town’s £38million Sporting Village, as the council may need to get a loan to cover the eviction policing bill.

The costs of the eviction would include drafting in hundreds of officers from outside the area, including riot teams and evidence gatherers, and covering overtime.

Senior officers said they do not have the resources and have applied to the Home Office for emergency one-off funding to cover the sum.

However, there are fears against the background of Government cuts, due to be announced tomorrow, the money will not be available.

If this happens, Basildon Council will try to borrow the cash to pay the police bill, according to a source close to the planning of the operation, which is why it cannot currently borrow money in connection with the Sporting Village.

The police estimate is on top of what Basildon Council will have to pay for the eviction, which itself is expected to cost between £1million and £2.5million.

The £10million calculation is based on a worst-case scenario if, as force intelligence suggests, extreme left wing and anti-capitalist groups, such as the Wombles, and other movements turn up to aid the travellers.

The source told the Echo: “There is intelligence of groups like the Wombles being involved, as they would relish a big fight against the state.

“The £10million figure is the worst case scenario if this were to happen.

“There has been an application made to the Home Office from a pot of funding which covers police forces for one-off events which require huge levels of policing, such as if Barack Obama were visiting.”