Saturday, 17 September 2011

Dale Farm ex-owner defends land sale | This is Essex

Dale Farm ex-owner defends land sale

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Thursday, September 08, 2011
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Essex Chronicle

THE original owner of Dale Farm has defended his decision to sell his land to travellers ten years ago.

Ray Bocking, who lives next door to the traveller site in Crays Hill, near Billericay, said he had no regrets about selling the six-acre site.

As the eviction date for the 400 travellers living illegally on the site has been set for September 19, Mr Bocking believes there is no better place than Dale Farm for travellers.

Mr Bocking, said: "It's an ideal site. You can't see it from the road and it's covered with trees.

"The gypsies moved next door and I had to drive through them to get to Dale Farm.

"They came to me and said they wanted it. No-one else wanted it. The council certainly didn't want it."

Basildon Borough Council is to evict those on illegal pitches after a ten-year legal battle.

When asked if he felt responsible for how Dale Farm had grown, Mr Bocking said: "No. I sold it to four gypsies and what they did with it was entirely up to them.

"I really don't think you could get a better site. The neighbours might be upset, but they could close off the road to solve that.

"I didn't tell the council I was planning on selling the land to gypsies but I didn't think it was anything to do with them.

"It's not my fault, people want somewhere to live and the council are throwing people off an ideal site."

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