A judge has warned Dale Farm residents that "it is not always possible to get what [you] most want, especially when what [you] most want is to go on committing a criminal offence."

Travellers at the UK's biggest illegal site in Essex have lodged applications for three separate judicial reviews in their continuing battle to prevent Basildon Council from evicting them.

The case has been dragging on for more than a decade. The council had been ready to move in and eject residents from the illegal plots last week, but the travellers were granted a series of last-minute injunctions that demanded more information from the council as to how it would go about the evictions.

Marc Willers, barrister for traveller Mary Sheridan, said eviction would be a breach of human rights because the council had not provided alternative accommodation.

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He argued that even though Basildon Council has said the travellers can apply for council housing, it had an "obligation to facilitate the gypsy way of life".

It was at this point that the judge, Mr Justice Ouseley, pointed out the travellers were nevertheless committing a criminal offence.

The other claims for judicial review are also expected to concern human rights legislation, as well as planning law.

It is believed the travellers are going to argue that the council's plans to demolish hard standings for caravans and remove buildings, walls and fences that have been erected by the residents will constitute "over enforcement", which is not covered by the council's notice of eviction letter.