Travellers on the UK’s largest illegal settlement will be evicted from the site in Essex on September 19.

Basildon Council will throw around 400 people off the land at Dale Farm in Crays Hill.

The travellers and the council have been embroiled in a decade-long fight over unauthorised properties on the site, which used to be a scrap yard.

Half the site is legal, but over 80 properties had no planning permission and around 400 people live there illegally.

They were told to leave by last Wednesday, but have not vacated the site.

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has asked the government to suspend their eviction “until culturally appropriate accommodation is identified and provided”.

They said evicting them would disproportionately affect family life and create hardship.

But the council plans to go ahead with the eviction, with backing from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The council said electricity supplies will be cut off from September 19 for “safety reasons” but water supplies will continue.

A spokeswoman for the travelers said the date was later than expected.

“The travellers are still digesting the news and a lot of them won't believe it until they see it in black and white,” he said.

"For the older residents and those with young children it will give them time to make preparations, but it is not a solution – they still have nowhere to go.”

Council leader Tony Ball said: We have always made it clear that this was a last resort for us, and it is with reluctance that we have been forced to take direct action to clear the site.

“Dale Farm has been illegally developed on green belt land. By doing this and failing to comply with various enforcement notices over a period of years the travellers have broken the law."

Supporters have pledged to help the travellers resist the eviction non-violently and have set up a protest camp at the site called Camp Constant.