Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 14:01 UK

Traveller site legal case begins

The High Court heard the travellers had engaged in a "deliberate and criminal" breach of planning control

A council has started legal action against a group of travellers who moved into an Essex village in April.

The group bought the greenbelt land in Blackmore and then began laying down concrete on the site over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Brentwood Borough Council immediately issued a temporary stop notice on the three-acre site to halt development.

The High Court was told the travellers had engaged in a "deliberate and criminal" breach of planning control.

The council told the High Court the travellers had deliberately moved 14 caravans onto Green Belt land in Chelmsford Road over Easter, in breach of planning permission.

The authority said Bank Holiday was chosen to avoid immediate eviction, and alleged the development was "inappropriate and harmful".

The judge said he had to take into account the effect eviction would have on the families and whether there was a legal site for them to move on to.

The hearing continues.

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