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7 November 2011, 14:15 | Updated: 7 November 2011, 14:21
A High Court order has been granted to Basildon Council to stop travellers reoccupying the illegal Dale Farm site.
Lawyers representing the local authority overseeing a clearance operation in Crays Hill started legal action last week in an attempt to stop travellers returning.
Court officials said the order was made by Mr Justice MacDuff.
"We believed that some previous residents of Dale Farm planned to illegally reoccupy the site,'' said council leader Tony Ball.
"The injunction will put them in contempt of court for doing this, which could result in a prison sentence.''
The council began clearing the illegal six-acre Dale Farm settlement last month following a decade-long row over unauthorised traveller plots on the site.
Contractors started clearing caravans and hard-standing after a major police operation to remove protesters.
At a High Court hearing in London on Friday, the council told a judge that travellers had told contractors clearing the green-belt site that they aimed to return.