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After "The Battle of Dale Farm"

It was branded "The Battle of Dale Farm". Pictures of police in riot gear clearing Europe's biggest illegal site for travellers were seen around the world.

Basildon Council in Essex had spent years to achieve the eviction and reckoned the final bill was £18m.

So why, just 16 months later, has that same council just approved a new travellers' camp less than half a mile away? Rags Martel reports.

Planning permission granted for traveller site in Basildon

Basildon Council has approved a new travellers' camp just 16 months after completing a multi-million pound eviction from the notorious Dale Farm site.

The new camp is less than half a mile away from the farm that was cleared after a very public fight by local residents.

Cllr Tony Ball, the Leader of Basildon Council, told ITV News that each planning application was considered on its individual merits.

Rags Martel has the details.

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'Serious concerns' about hospital

The health watchdog has "serious concerns" about the care of children at a scandal-hit hospital.

The Care Quality Commission said "rapid and sustainable improvement" is needed at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Essex.

The watchdog has also ordered an independent investigation into the paediatric services provided by the trust.

During an unannounced inspection earlier this month, the CQC noted that there were problems with waiting times, the numbers of senior staff and out-of-date medicines.

"The trust was found to be failing to plan and deliver care to meet the needs of children in a way that ensured their welfare and safety," a spokesman said.

Hundreds evacuated in nightclub fire

Hundreds of clubbers have been evacuated from a Basildon nightclub after a fire broke out.

Around 30 firefighters were called to Liquid and Envy at Festival Leisure Park, in the early hours of this morning, after a fire broke out in the ceiling of a first floor stage area.

A man suffered burns to his lower arms and was treated at the scene and a woman suffered the affects of smoke inhilation.

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Crash Pc admits careless driving in Essex

A constable who crashed a marked police car while responding to an emergency has admitted careless driving.

Reece Clarke, a special constable who was travelling in the passenger seat of the car, was left brain damaged following the crash in Basildon, Essex, on July 24 last year.

Pc Ian Thompson, 31, was driving the car when it collided with a Hackney cab shortly before midnight.The officer, based in Wickford, Essex, had been charged with dangerous driving.

He denied that offence but has admitted the lesser charge of careless driving.

Prosecutor Michael Crimp told Ipswich Crown Court that, after consultation with Mr Clarke's family, this plea was acceptable and a trial on the original charge would not proceed.

'Natural causes' in rugby ball death

Leonie Nice.
Leonie Nice. Credit: East News.

The inquest of a school girl from Basildon, who died after being hit by a rugby ball, has found she died of natural causes.

Leonie Nice, 12, had a degenerative heart condition - arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy - which left her susceptible to irregular heart beats. The condition meant that Leonie could have died suddenly at any time.

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