The Travellers living at at Dale Farm in Essex have been given a fortnight to leave before Basildon council starts forcible evictions in the week beginning 19 September – when electricity supplies will also be cut.
Around 400 people living on the illegal part of the site, on land they own but have no planning permission for on a former scrapyard at Crays Hill in Essex, were notified by the council that the date has been set, and advised to make homelessness applications urgently.
The date has been set after the Travellers lost their last legal challenge in the decade-long row, despite a United Nations committee calling on the government to suspend the eviction. The Travellers' cause has been taken up by celebrities including the actor Vanessa Redgrave, and young activists have moved on to the site determined to help them resist eviction.
Kathleen McCarthy, one of those facing losing her home, said there would be "a brutal eviction", despite the statement from Basildon council that they would not cut off the water when the electricity was cut.