The Green Party is disappointed at the announcement that the eviction at Dale Farm should go ahead despite the ten years of wrangling over the site and the apparent refusal of Basildon Council to find alternative sites.
The Homes and Communities Agency have offered alternative land in Basildon, subject to planning permission but Basildon Council will not halt the eviction until the planning issues have been resolved.
The cost to the tax payer is estimated to be over £18 million to evict 400 travellers, most of whom have nowhere else to go. Children have been settled in local schools for over a decade and this eviction will ensure that their education is disrupted.
Penny Kemp, Environment Spokesperson for the Green Party, said ”Common sense should prevail. This site is owned by the travellers, planning permission has been granted for half the site and the other half, home to more than 400 people does not have the requisite planning permission. As the residents have said that they are prepared to move to an alternative site, and there is another site in the wings, I cannot understand the problem.”
She continued, ”The Government and Local Authorities have a duty to respect and facilitate the gypsy and traveller way of life, and to improve the well-being of children. It would appear that this is not the case at Dale Farm.
"Whilst the Green Party believes that the planning system is the correct mechanism to determine planning issues and we are contributing to the Government's planning reform consultation paper, we feel in the case of Dale Farm, a more sensitive approach would be helpful especially as there are potential alternative sites in the area."