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Eliran Assa

Welcome to the £7m fly-tip: Grim pictures show decaying remains of infamous traveller camp Dale Farm eight years to the day after residents violently fought eviction and council promised to return site to ‘green belt’

  • Fierce battles raged between bailiffs and travellers following a 10 year dispute between them and council
  • Officials claimed it would be returned to a Green Belt idyll after the pitched eviction battle in October 2011
  • Former Tory councillor Chris Jackman said it was ‘extremely disappointing see the lack of follow through’

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Grim pictures have emerged of the decaying remains of infamous traveller camp Dale Farm eight years to the day of its clearing, after residents violently fought eviction.

Council officials claimed the site would be returned to a Green Belt idyll after the pitched eviction battle in October 2011 that cost nearly £7million – but it is still a polluted wasteland that has cost taxpayers millions of pounds.

But fly-tippers have dumped tonnes of building material, a washing machine and mattresses at the entrance to the infamous camp. 

The site is still filled with rubbish eight years later. In this image you can see a destroyed caravan, garden furniture and a number of branches

The site is still filled with rubbish eight years later. In this image you can see a destroyed caravan, garden furniture and a number of branches

The area is filled with rubbish and in the background of the images you can see a number of temporary structures still up

The area is filled with rubbish and in the background of the images you can see a number of temporary structures still up

An aerial shot of the Dale Farm traveller site in 2011 after the pitched eviction battle that cost nearly £7 million

An aerial shot of the Dale Farm traveller site in 2011 after the pitched eviction battle that cost nearly £7 million

A mound of rubbish can be seen at the site including a tool box, mattress, and various pieces of wood and other debris

A mound of rubbish can be seen at the site including a tool box, mattress, and various pieces of wood and other debris

In October 2011 fierce battles raged between bailiffs and the travellers following a 10-year dispute between travellers and Basildon Council

In October 2011 fierce battles raged between bailiffs and the travellers following a 10-year dispute between travellers and Basildon Council

A large amount of rubbish on the site. A traveller on a legal site next to Dale Farm said the rubbish 'looks awful'

A large amount of rubbish on the site. A traveller on a legal site next to Dale Farm said the rubbish ‘looks awful’

A traveller on the legal site next to Dale Farm said: ‘It’s a disgrace I don’t know where they are coming from.

‘The police say they can’t do anything to help us and we’ve been forced to build this fence to stop them.

‘It’s just not safe with all this rubbish here and it looks awful.’

In October 2011 fierce battles raged between bailiffs and the travellers following a 10-year dispute between travellers and Basildon Council.

Police in riot gear were forced to haul the gypsies from the plots which did not have planning permission.

Now thick foliage has burst out of the cracked concrete where the travellers once lived and shards of broken glass litter the ground.

At its height it was the largest illegal travellers’ site in Europe – with more than 1,000 people living there on 60 plots.

Now all that remains of the gypsies is burnt out homes, smashed electrical meters and abandoned children’s toys.

An internal shot of a burnt out illegal home on the former traveller site in Essex. Smashed glass can be seen on the right of the image

An internal shot of a burnt out illegal home on the former traveller site in Essex. Smashed glass can be seen on the right of the image

A barrier to stop fly tippers going into the site and dumping rubbish. Taxpayers forked out nearly £7m on the eviction, with Basildon Council picking up a bill for £4.3m whilst Essex Police spent £2.4m

A barrier to stop fly tippers going into the site and dumping rubbish. Taxpayers forked out nearly £7m on the eviction, with Basildon Council picking up a bill for £4.3m whilst Essex Police spent £2.4m

A number of wooden crates at the site, and what appears to be a fridge on the far right hand side of the alley. Further rubbish can be seen in the background of the shot

A number of wooden crates at the site, and what appears to be a fridge on the far right hand side of the alley. Further rubbish can be seen in the background of the shot

An internal shot of one of the old illegal properties filled with detritus such as mattresses and various bits of wood

An internal shot of one of the old illegal properties filled with detritus such as mattresses and various bits of wood 

A plethora of rubbish at the site, including tyres, wood, what appears to be a light system, chair and sofa cushions

A plethora of rubbish at the site, including tyres, wood, what appears to be a light system, chair and sofa cushions

The Dale Farm Travellers site in 2011. It emerged last year that the council had written off the debt and taxpayers were forced to shoulder the cost

The Dale Farm Travellers site in 2011. It emerged last year that the council had written off the debt and taxpayers were forced to shoulder the cost

A burnt out illegal home on the former traveller site in Essex. Former Tory councillor Chris Jackman was critical of the 'lack of commitment Basildon Council officers have shown'

A burnt out illegal home on the former traveller site in Essex. Former Tory councillor Chris Jackman was critical of the ‘lack of commitment Basildon Council officers have shown’

Grass snakes through the decaying hard-standing and a leaking water main gushes water into the empty plot.

Taxpayers forked out nearly £7m on the eviction, with Basildon Council picking up a bill for £4.3m whilst Essex Police spent £2.4m.

It emerged last year that the council had written off the debt and taxpayers were forced to shoulder the cost.

Former Conservative councillor Chris Jackman, who represents residents near the Hovefields traveller site, said: ‘I have witnessed the affair from beginning to end.

‘It is extremely disappointing to see the lack of follow through and the lack of commitment Basildon Council officers have shown.

‘It is a dereliction of duty and a slap in the face of tax payers.’

Basildon Council has been approached for comment. 

Eliran Assa

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