Press release: Dale Farm concreted-over by Basildon Council


Evidence has emerged that Basildon Council desecrated the green belt at Dale Farm, laying down hardcore and concrete years before the site was bought by Travellers.

The evidence came to light today after the former owner of Dale Farm, scrapyard dealer Ray Bocking spoke to local journalists. He said,

“I was the owner of Dale Farm…[and] the council put down the hardcore. For years they hard cored it all….they parked all their cars on it…they put down tonnes of hard core…and now they want to dig up their own hard core! ..It’s ridiculous how they are spending other people’s money, £18 million pounds.” (1)

Mr Bocking gave the impression that the Council has engaged in a massive cover-up operation – putting into question not just their justification, but the entire legality of an eviction ostensibly aimed at restoring green belt. Mr Bocking said “Dale Farm was used to store cars before the Travellers bought it and I’d say the Travellers should be allowed to stay here.”

While part of the site was already a licensed scrap yard in the 1960s, the Council used the rest of Dale Farm to store towed away vehicles, and dump hard core, concreting over the greenbelt to make storing the cars easier. It appears the Council paid contractors to dump large quantities of hardcore over the course of some 30-40 years, and to lay concrete across the site to enable long-term storage of large numbers of council-towed lorries and cars.

The legality of the planned eviction rests heavily on the ‘green belt’ status of the land (2) and as consequence is liable to reassessment given the prior and substantial misuse of the land by the Council.

As a result the council activities at Dale Farm any restoration to its previous state will be to a brown field site, laying waste to the Councils assertion that they are ‘restoring the green belt’. It appears the Council paid contractors to dump large quantities of hardcore over the course of some 30-40 years, and to lay concrete across the site to enable long-term storage of large numbers of council-towed lorries and cars.

Supporters of Dale Farm and residents are actively investigating whether Basildon Council may be liable to a multi-million pound law suit, as a result of misuse of green belt land, misrepresentations of the status and quality of the land in communications to the general public and in court, and their sanctioning of the use of £18 million of public funds to ‘restore green belt’ which they themselves desecrated. To limit this possibility the hardstanding must be kept in place at Dale Farm if any eviction takes place.

The Travellers, who are bracing themselves for a brutal forced eviction are investigating suing the Basildon Council, as a result of the Councils misrepresentation of the land’s prior use and effective status.

Councillor Geoff Williams said this morning “This news comes as a complete surprise to me, and undermines the case that the council has been making for years. If these things are true then it would seem that the councils claim for rejuvenating the land is an untenable one. If the ground was laid to local authority standards following the uses spelled out by Mr Bocking, it would be beyond any sensible attempt to reclaim this land for pasture or agricultural use.”

Aerial photographs used is previous Dale Farm planning cases clearly show the land as a scrapyard and location for storing hundreds of cars and trucks (3).

(1)     See This is Essex here.

(2)     See Appeal Hearing 2009 here.

(3)     Scrap yard photo: here.

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20 Responses to Press release: Dale Farm concreted-over by Basildon Council

  1. Pingback: Dale Farm being evicted NOW by state gangsters « The Free

  2. Pingback: Over Dale Farm, we all have been deceived - SATELITE PHOTOS – SATELITE PHOTOS

  3. Pingback: Unusually for a Traveller site, Dale Farm seems to be run by welfare-class matriarchs - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

  4. Pingback: Ball’s Up: or, My Big Fat Gypsy (non-) Eviction | York Anarchists Blog

  5. John (sceptic) says:

    The aerial photograph has been trimmed to the site boundary (hence the irregular shape) so there are no points of reference (trees and hedgerows for instance) outside the boundary to tell us what we are actually looking at. How do we know the trucks and cars aren’t on land forming part of the scrap yard? They are certainly stored very close together, as they would be in a scrap yard, rather than being parked.

    Why didn’t the former owner of the scrap yard produce this evidence 10 years ago? If he is telling the truth, the travellers would then have had a good chance of getting planning consent and wouldn’t be going through hell at the moment and the council would have been saved £millions in enforcement costs.

    LegalAid’s comments about the planning laws being applied without discrimination are spot on.

  6. Pingback: Press releases and media advisories | Dale Farm Travellers | WorldWright's …

  7. nita says:

    Leave these people alone, They don’t seem to be harming anyone. They bought the land, made their home there. They cleaned -up and cleared off the scrap yard and surrounding land, only to be told they are going to be forcibly removed so yet ANOTHER scrap yard costing 18m to rebuild there is ludicrous. the Counsel Control Committee is out for the almighty dollar, they could care less about the displacement of these families.

  8. Alex Brown says:

    LegalAid Are you blind? It’s the council that is breaking the rules. Also the establishment break the rules at there whim, while the weak have to obey them no matter what. People have a moral right to live outside the system. It’s the fact they live there life in a diffrent way, that the council wants rid of them. This is pure racist/classicist filth! FUCK THE RULES! People have a right to live in peace.

    • smoggyjim says:

      Yes you do have a moral right to live outside the system, in fact these moral rights are respected a lot more in this country than in some other dark corners of the globe. But what if your “living outside the system” effects others? Thats why we have laws. Laws that have to be obeyed.

      I could say its my right to live in a way that lets me drive at 100 mph down every street and road in this land. Sod everyone I run over and kill, its my moral right to live that way.

      • yvemaria says:

        And RULES can be BROKEN.
        These Travellers have been on this Site for 10 Years,Why has it Taken the Council 10 Years to Get them OFF…..They should have started to do it 10 Years ago and not Left it until NOW. WHAT HARM HAVE THEY DONE!
        LET THEM STAY.

  9. Henry Page says:

    Just how ludicrous do you want to be? Near to where I live is an area called The Seven Sisters Country Park, it is part of the Sussex Downs National Park:
    Running through the middle of it is a concrete road and concrete pads in some places. That doesn’t mean that it can just be built on! How many times do you need to be told: You apply for Planning Permission first, then build. Not the other way round!

  10. LegalAid says:

    I had an extension that I tried to get retrospective planning permission for – the council would not allow it. It had to come down. That is the law. Why should the law be different for people of certain races? Why should ‘travellers’ get to bend the rules when I can’t. That is discrimination.

    Your site has no planning permission and therefore is illegal. Doesn’t matter what colour you are, what race you are or what religion you are – the law applies to ALL OF US. Any other legal system would be deeply racist. If you want to go back to apartheid South Africa where different laws existed for different racial groups then fine. But this is England. And the law applys to everyone.

    So pipe down. Move on. Obey the rules.

    And next time, GET PLANNING PERMISSION – it isn’t complicated.

  11. Having done my own inquiry I would think you have a real case reversing the Councils eviction, it may take years as they proceed to follow the order of eviction and the process of eviction is occurring in the present but if it is true you have evidence of the use of the land as a scrapyard and parking lot (what you call ‘hardcore’) a counter suit is justified in my view. However, a wrong will never admit to being wrong. The case will be stalled for as long as this Council and community backing the Council is in power. I will say as an observer in the US these actions are a disgrace and as our own forces of racism are losing ground I would hope the forces of racism in Europe will also lose their ground when more of the general population develops a heightened awareness that scapegoating goes only so far as a remedy to internal problems.

    The history given here is: In the 1970s, Basildon District Council issued residential planning permission for 40 families to live at Dale Farm. Today about 100 families live there. The part of the site for which the Council has not granted residential planning permission has been speculated to be owned by members of the Sheridan clan of Travellers. In June 2005, the Council’s Development Control Committee stated that, if necessary, physical force would be used to evict the residents of that area.

    Reading this matter from the US, it does appear the motivation is about real estate prices and the racism are voices of pressure to break down the spirit of the community.

    We have our own forms of racial hatred in the US among the general population and in the form of the Tea Party the political arm of the the Oil and Gas industry acting against our mixed race president. These forces as represented in the persons of the presidential candidates for 2012 in my opinion, will lose and Obama will win as he takes his case directly to the American people as a whole, a strategy that will assuredly ruin the republican opposition’s chances at winning the election. Even before Obama hit the road to promote his job bill the talk on Main street is largely against the republican opposition especially after Hurricane Irene devastated Vermont, New York, New Jersey while the republicans were against government spending and millions were in dire need of federal emergency assistance to rebuild. There is progress toward a more humane treatment of human life.

    I extend my support to you and wish your families well being, particularly the children.


    New York

    • smoggyjim says:


      On what grounds do you think that the court order could be reversed? That’s its not green belt land and was formally a scrap yard? And therefore the council have lied?

      Well what Mr Bocking the scrap yard owner isn’t saying is that he did not have planning permission for his scrap yard built on green belt land. When he was taken to account by the council he threaten to sell it to travellers and did. So as you can imagine he wasn’t very happy with the council at the time and I question his motives here.

      Indeed, Basildon council do have some questions to answer like why did they allegedly use a illegal scrap yard, why did they make housing benefit payments to people occupying the land illegally.

      But all this does not detract from the fact that this is a planning issue. Race, human rights, traveller culture have been taken into account by the council planning process and 10 years of going through the British courts and it still remains an illegal use of green belt land.

      The law applies to all equally; they have broken the law and need to move on peacefully

      • Justin says:

        5% of the global population own 95% of its wealth.
        Those who have the most get to make the rules,(‘laws’)

    • Henry Page says:

      I’ve a good idea Mr. Ramirez. Why don’t you donate your own back garden as an American Indian settlement?

      • Shenanigans says:

        Yes, ask someone from an oppressed minority background to ‘give back’ to another oppressed minority so that the middle class can improve their property value. Kind of misses the point, doesn’t it?

  12. smoggyjim says:

    This is also an interesting article given the history and an photo of the site from the 70’s…

  13. Sarah (Disgusted) says:

    Desecrated? What a load of nonsense.

    Desperate for something to write?

Comments are closed.