Travellers to return to eviction site

By James HoreA GROUP of travellers who were evicted from the land they had occupied for three years are to try to reclaim the site.About 30 adults and children were removed by bailiffs from the farmland in Little Waltham, near Chelmsford, amid violent scenes in January.

By James Hore

A GROUP of travellers who were evicted from the land they had occupied for three years are to try to reclaim the site.

About 30 adults and children were removed by bailiffs from the farmland in Little Waltham, near Chelmsford, amid violent scenes in January.

Chelmsford Borough Council organised the eviction because the travellers were occupying the land illegally as they did not have planning permission to live there.


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But some of the families who were evicted have decided they will return to the site this weekend to “reopen” the field on which they lived from 2001.

The travellers, who claim to have purchased the land, said a 12ft earth mound surrounding the site had been put in place illegally because it was an unlawful impediment to “the landowners' enjoyment of their property”.

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Kathy Buckland, who was among the travellers who were forced to leave, has vowed to remove the first spade of earth from the mound.

“I just want to start again and put my children back in the school. They were doing well there until we were put off,” she said.

Mrs Buckland, who is expecting a baby in August, is also trying to claim compensation from Chelmsford Borough Council after her caravan was destroyed by fire on the day of the eviction.

A Chelmsford Borough Council spokeswoman said it would wait to see if anyone attempted to move back onto the site before considering what action to take.

“The borough council will monitor the situation and take any reasonable action to prevent the site from being unlawfully occupied,” she added.

Essex Police said they would monitor the situation, but would only intervene and make arrests if it was necessary to keep the peace.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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