Essex: Travellers lose appeal to stay at Dale Farm

 Five Irish Traveller families living on an unofficial site in Wickford, Essex, face eviction, because the land they bought is within a green zone area.

The Travellers had lodged an application in the High Court for retrospective planning permission for the homes they established on plots they purchased some years ago. But Judge Collins, who earlier this year saved the families from eviction pending further research into their circumstances has now ruled that five families must go.

The Court of Appeal will decide on 4 December whether Basildon can go ahead with its three million pound plan to clear Travellers from the site.

Local churches of all denominations have supported the Travellers' campaign to stay on their land, for humanitarian reasons. Several of the children, including two special-needs pupils, are established at local schools. A young mother living on the site, who is expecting triplets, has been advised by doctors to rest and keep to her bed to give her unborn babies the best chance of life.

Prayer meetings are being held for the welfare of the babies in the Saint Christopher chapel at Dale Farm. Several other mothers are expecting
in the New Year.

The Travellers are asking supporters to join their rally outside the Royal Courts, in the Strand, London, at 11.30am, on Thursday 4 December.

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