Basildon Council insists it is doing 'all it can' to prevent 'new Dale Farm' in Wickford

By YA Reporter in Planning

BASILDON Council has insisted it is using ’every legal option available’ to combat ’unauthorised developments’ on a traveller site in Wickford.

The authority made the comment following reports that large areas of the green belt site near Cranfield Park Avenue had been concreted.

Basildon UKIP leader Linda Allport-Hodge said she feared the site could become ’Dale Farm Mark Two’.

She said residents had reported seeing hardcore brought onto the site over the first weekend in March and had subsequently reported seeing mobile homes being delivered.

She said: “I am mystified as to why this council is powerless to stop what appears to be a Dale Farm Mark Two unravelling before our eyes.”

Mrs Allport-Hodge made headlines in July 2014 when she joined forces with fellow councillors Kerry Smith and Kevin Blake to form a human blockade, in an unsuccessful attempt to stop travellers moving into a disused car park in Nethermayne.

Basildon Council insisted it was doing all it could.

In a statement issued via the council press office, Tory leader Phil Turner said: “Basildon Council completely shares the frustrations and concerns of residents in the Hovefields area about recent incidents of unauthorised development.

“We want to assure residents that the council is using ever legal option available to it in an attempt to prevent planning breaches in the area.

“We have already taken strong enforcement action and used the resources and powers available to us as a local planning authority to their fullest extent.

“However, there are limits to these powers and while we would like to be able to do more – and do it more quickly – we have to follow proper process if we want to secure a lasting solution.

“We are calling on central Government to put the law right to give us emergency powers to take immediate action to stop the misery being suffered by residents and stop our thin resources being stretched.”

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