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Travellers started to pitch up at the green belt site in 2001.Four years later they were ordered to leave Dale Farm after a planning inspector declared the development illegal.Jenny Mace, chairman of the residents' association, said residents are "horrified" by the developments and in "total despair" with Basildon Council.She said: "Any breach of these injunctions is a contempt of court yet Basildon Council has repeatedly refused to initiate legal proceedings against the culprits who are in contempt.
Now locals in Hovefields fear the new site is to become Dale Farm, Mark II.In a letter sent to the residents association, senior planning enforcement officer Neil Costen said the council and police are restricted.He wrote: "Neither the council or the police have any powers to stop persons from residentially occupying the land with caravans or the laying of further areas of hardcore." Phil Turner, leader of Basildon Council, said the council is taking "all appropriate steps".Engineer Richard Barker, a resident of nine years, added: "Although the site is for ten pitches, which I understand means up to 20 caravans, there is a large area of undeveloped land all around it." "We all fear that once a lawful site is set up other Travellers would move in around it," added his partner Gail Barker."Dale Farm is on everybody's mind whenever Traveller sites are considered." Residents, particularly in Albemarle Link, are also worried the development of new houses will destroy the panoramic views of rolling fields from their gardens.