New home for Dale Farm travellers?

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A LANDOWNER in Mid Suffolk has offered his caravan site to travellers facing eviction from their controversial Essex home.

Levi Gumble contacted Basildon District Council to propose his land at the Forge Caravan Site, in Great Finborough, as a possible new home for some of the families being forced to leave Dale Farm.

Cllr Tony Ball, Leader of Basildon District Council, said: “Basildon Council has been contacted by a gentleman based in Suffolk with regards to a possible alternative site.

“As agreed with the gentleman concerned, these details have been passed on to the relevant traveller representatives from Dale Farm.

“However, Basildon Council has had no further involvement in checking the validity of this alternative or in negotiating any possible terms.”

A spokeswoman for Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) said that there has been no contact with Basildon Council in relation to the Dale Farm situation and that there are no discussions concerning the Forge Caravan site.

Mr Gumble’s site, in Combs Lane, has planning permission for 19 pitches but currently has only seven caravans on the land.

A MSDC spokeswoman said: “MSDC would like to see these pitches fully used by the gypsy and traveller community to meet the locally identified need and to reduce the incidence of unauthorised encampments across the district. The council has commenced a compulsory purchase order to acquire the site so that this can be achieved. This has no links at all to the situation in Dale Farm, Basildon.”

More than 400 travellers living at the Dale Farm site, thought to be the largest travellers’ site in the UK, are facing eviction.