1. ITV Report

Contamination checks at Dale Farm

Caravans parked on the approach to Dale Farm Photo: Press Association

Fears that land at the Dale Farm travellers site near Basildon are contaminated are to be investigated by the Environment Agency.

A team of consultants has been appointed to visit the site on 13th August to collect samples for analysis.

Their report, which will take up to six weeks to write, will assess whether there is any contamination on the site.

Caravans parked on the approach to Dale Farm Credit: Press Association

Dale Farm became the national focus of media attention when Basildon Council moved in to evict travellers who were illegally staying there. A number of residents legally remain on another part of the site.

Before the travellers moved in the area was used as a scrap yard. The residents who remain are worried that contaminants in the soil have been disturbed by attempts to dig up part of the site to prevent more caravans being parked there.

The Environment Agency says that if any damage is found action may be required by whoever caused it. The cost of this investigation can be recovered from whoever caused any damage if this can be legally proved.