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Bishops distressed about Dale Farm

21 September 2011

by Ed Beavan

THE Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, and the RC Bishop of Brentwood, the Rt Revd Thomas McMahon, have called again for a peaceful settlement at the Dale Farm travellers’ site at Basildon in Essex.

On Monday, 86 families who were due to be removed from the illegal part of the site received a temporary reprieve when a High Court in­junction delayed the eviction by Basildon Council, pending a further hearing today.

The two Bishops, who made a pastoral visit to the site last month (News, 2 September), said this week that they stood by their “previous commitment to be involved in negotiating a peaceful settlement to the Dale Farm dispute. We are both deeply distressed by what is oc­curring on the site and we are praying for a peaceful and equitable outcome for all parties concerned.”

Bishop Cottrell said that it would be common sense for the Council to grant retrospective planning per­mission to travellers living on the illegal part of the site, or provide an alternative site. “No one should be above the law, but no one should be outside the law either.”

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