Dunmow could see an influx of gypsies if nothing is done before Dale Farm evictions

A COUNTY councillor is to warn her superiors of the potential problems facing Dunmow in the run up to the Dale Farm eviction.

Susan Barker is warning the leader of Essex County Council (ECC) Peter Martin that almost ten caravans have moved on to land on Chelmsford Road in Dunmow and more could follow if nothing is done.

“We received complaints that caravans had moved into the Chelmsford Road site behind the Travel Lodge. Then more moved in and as of yesterday there as around seven or eight caravans.

“The land is the site of the proposed waste transfer centre so it is owned by the county council. The travellers have moved a large cement block out of the way and possibly cut a lock to get onto the site.

“ECC needs to be mindful that it is a large attractive site. If they don’t want another 300 gypsies on the site they need to take all the necessary steps to safeguard the land.”

Despite the land being owned by ECC matters relating to travellers are dealt with by the district council.

A council spokesman said: “Uttlesford District Council was notified on Saturday of the arrival of a small number of caravans in Takeley, which parked on parish council-owned land. We acted promptly and efficiently to deal with this situation and liaised with Essex County Council’s gypsy and traveller service, the police and the parish council. The police issued a Section 61 Notice, which required their departure by 9am on Sunday.

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“The traveller family duly left the site and moved to land next to the Hoblongs Industrial Estate on Sunday. We have spoken further to the family who said they were only staying for two days. However, we are aware that further caravans arrived on Monday.

“The land is owned by Essex County Council so ultimately it would be up to them to deal with this issue should the family not move on. However, we continue to liaise closely with all relevant parties to offer assistance where we can.

“We will be monitoring this situation and working with all the relevant organisations, including the police and county council, to resolve any issues that may arise.”

The eviction of gypsies on Dale Farm by Basildon District Council is due to begin on September 17.