The Greatest Sia
17 October 2011, 17:18
Travellers at Dale Farm have been refused permission to appeal against a High Court ruling giving Basildon Council the go-ahead to evict them.
Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Sullivan said the travellers could not challenge a decision made last week by Mr Justice Ouseley.
The ruling was the latest decision in a long legal fight over the future of the greenbelt site near Basildon, Essex.
A travellers' spokeswoman said after the hearing: "This looks like the end of the road.''
Dale Farm resident Kathleen McCarthy added: "The lawyers say this is the end. We'll have to fight the bailiffs off. We're already in lockdown.
"We've been left with no choice - we really have nowhere else to go. Do you think we'd put ourselves through this if we did?
"The law is prejudiced against travellers. We were told 15 years ago to get off the road and buy our own land, but now they are forcing us and our kids out on to the road again. The barricades are all that stand between us and homelessness now.''
Lily Hayes, a Dale Farm supporter, said: "The law, planning regulations and the judicial system all discriminate against travellers.
"Engaging in civil disobedience is the reasonable response to this senseless eviction which is making 86 families homeless. We will stand side by side with the residents to resist this eviction.''
Residents also expressed concern that Basildon Council had failed to give an indication of when the eviction would begin.
Basildon Council's Conservative leader Tony Ball said Dale Farm residents had been "living on borrowed time'' and urged them to leave "peacefully and in a safe and orderly fashion''.
"The so called supporters should also pack up their belongings and leave the site. If they have the travellers' best interest at heart they will either leave the area now or confine their activities to helping the travellers to leave over the coming days,'' he said.
"I am particularly concerned by reports that barricades have been strengthened over the weekend. This flies in the face of common sense.''
He said evictions would take place "at a time of (the council's) choosing'' and added: "Our job is now to clear this site in a safe and dignified manner and this is what we intend to do.''