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#656476 - Sun Sep 25 2011 03:31 PM Re: Famous people and their 'good causes' [Re: Emma058]
Christinap Offline
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Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1700
Loc: Essex UK
Yes, we do have laws against squatters, and if these travellers had built illegally on someone elses land then the landowner could have got an eviction notice within about 28 day. The problem with Dale Farm is that the travellers own the land. Back in the early 1990s they bought a very large plot of land and over the next four or five years applied for and got various planning permissions to turn it into a legal designated gypsy site. They then bought what was, at the time, a disused scrapyard adjacent to the legal site and this is Dale Farm. Without any planning permission at all some 400 people now live there in a variety of structures. Because they own the land the Council only have planning law to fall back on. There have been court appearances, appeals, more court appearances, more appeals and it has taken ten years to get to this stage.

About a month ago it was reported that the travellers had said that if Basildon Council paid them £6M they would move on of their own free will. The Council declined saying it was virtually blackmail. Given that the buget for the actual eviction, if it ever happens, is now at £18M with costs rising by the day that £6M is starting to look like a very good deal.


Edited by Christinap (Sun Sep 25 2011 03:32 PM)

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#656518 - Sun Sep 25 2011 10:44 PM Re: Famous people and their 'good causes' [Re: Christinap]
mehaul Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6476
Loc: Florida USA
Thank you for the feedback Christinap.
A scrapyard doesn't sound much like the 'green-belt' discussed earlier here. In the US a scrapyard is a place where junked autos, dead appliances and other bulk waste goes to enjoy the afterlife. Is a British junkyard something different than that? If 400 people here wanted to live in a junk yard, purchased the junkyard and then made it habitable, I don't think anyone would seek to evict them. Here evictions are performed on tenants by a landlord. Is it that even though the Travellers bought the property, they don't really own it, a Landlord does? Did they just purchase private use rights rather than ownership? Is a peer of the realm the real owner? Reading the history of Basildon shows me the town didn't even exist fifty years ago. That itself it was a community built to accomodate the overflow of folks travelled out from London after WWII. The location of Basildon must make property values very high. Is there a chance that developers have fanned the hatred of Tinkers in an effort to make the land available to them for other purposes? Also telling someone the land they own cannot be built on IS one way of driving down the market value and setting up a better deal for a prospective purchaser. I don't mean to take sides here, I'm just asking what seem to be obvious questions to the interested third party. A scrapyard near the sea, very intriguing property, one worth speculating on (he he he) Is Basil Fawlty looking for land to build a new hotel on?

edit: I see in the Wikipedia entry for Dale Farm that: "In 2008, Essex County Council's Racial Equality Council funded a £12,000 community centre built at the site, built without planning permission."
That sounds like tacit approval for the community existence (at least from a sympathetic government branch). And the article also mentions that the local authorities used the site to dump macadam and other construction debris even while it was in 'green-belt' status. Here is a link to the Wikipedia brief article on Dale Farm:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale_Farm


Edited by mehaul (Sun Sep 25 2011 11:14 PM)
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#656545 - Mon Sep 26 2011 03:56 AM Re: Famous people and their 'good causes' [Re: mehaul]
Christinap Offline
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Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1700
Loc: Essex UK
The site is owned by travellers, although not the ones living on it. One big clan bought it and several other green belt sites round here. The ones living on it don't pay any rent though.

There is no chance that the land will go for development. The trouble is that if an area is designated as green belt then building is highly restricted, no matter what the piece of land was used for in the past.It covers the whole area, not just individual bits of an area. For example, a hotel just round the corner from us has just been refuse permission for an outside smokers shelter as it is "not compatible with green belt development", and all they were going to do was erect a three sided structure loosing a couple of parking places to do so.

Property prices are high round here mainly due to the lack of new buildings and the fact that it is rural and peaceful.

There is a degree of hypocrisy on the part of the Council, not only with the community centre, but also the fact that they have been happy to collect Council Tax from the travellers even though their properties are illegal.

Much of this comes down to fairness. If I built something without planning permission I would be forced by the council to tear it down, they would serve an injunction on me to do so. Why then should the travellers be allowed to do what the rest of us are not simply because of their life-style. If they end up staying then effectively they have driven a massive great hole right through green belt planning permission laws, and why then should anyone else obey them?

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#656560 - Mon Sep 26 2011 04:24 AM Re: Famous people and their 'good causes' [Re: Christinap]
mehaul Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6476
Loc: Florida USA
A £12,000 Center can't be much more than the hotel smoking walls you mentioned. If one clan owns the whole Dale Farm, what are these mentions of not all paying their (taxes?). If the 'Clan' bought the property, was it as a corporate entity or as individual owners? Is some Duke or Earl or other Lord completely apart from owning the land and what goes on on it? I just watched "The Lair of the White Worm" and Hugh Grant's character seemed to be everyone's landlord even though other characters mentioned they had bought their property.

edit: Did any of the rioting of a month ago around London take place in this area?


Edited by mehaul (Mon Sep 26 2011 04:26 AM)
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#656584 - Mon Sep 26 2011 07:33 AM Re: Famous people and their 'good causes' [Re: mehaul]
Christinap Offline
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Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1700
Loc: Essex UK
Sorry to disappoint you mehaul but there are no sinister Dukes or Earls or Lords lurking anywhere in the background here. The way they work is the whole familly puts up the money to buy the land and the title deeds are then put in one persons name and they carry on like that until every adult male in the family owns land somewhere. In this instance they bought the land outright from the owner of the scrapyard - which incidentally is the same as in the States - junked cars, car parts, that sort of thing.

As to taxes, it has been reported in some papers here that many of the women are claiming council tax and other benefits as single mothers, however, when a reporter stated that most of the women were unmarried mothers this was hotly disputed by one of the older women, saying that all of the younger women who had children were in fact married. If they are married then their benefit claims were untrue. You rarely see any of the men of Dale Farm on TV but there are plenty there all running some sort of "business" - all on a cash basis - tarmacing drives,rubbish clearance, which then gets fly tipped somewhere, that sort of thing, and getting an assesment on them for tax is nigh on impossible, let alone getting them to pay it.

None of the rioting a month ago took place here.

Quick up-date - the local lunch time news reported on a protest meeting held by local residents who say they have had enough, they can't take any more and if the Council don't get on an evict the Dale Farm residents they will be holding a protest march and organising "other repercussions" (unspecified).

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#834650 - Sat Oct 27 2012 01:12 PM Re: Famous people and their 'good causes' [Re: Christinap]
Jazmee27 Offline
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Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
I wish these celebs would be informed about stuff, rather than pouncing all over something because “everybody’s doing it” or some such other logic. Show me someone who truly understands a situation and wants to help make it better for that reason, and whoever it is has my respect. None of this “”give me more publicity” hogwash.

I’m always confused by those who feel it’s OK to “bend” or break rules. How, exactly, does that pay? It may seem to, in the short term, but at some point it’s ten times worse than if the rules were obeyed in the first place!
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