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Squatters occupying Royal Mint given High Court eviction notice

PUBLISHED: 14:16 31 December 2015 | UPDATED: 15:02 31 December 2015

Security patrol ready to evict squatters at Royal Mint [photo: Ken Mears]

Security patrol ready to evict squatters at Royal Mint [photo: Ken Mears]

Archant

A group of anti-capitalist squatters have been ordered by the High Court to leave the former Royal Mint complex opposite the Tower of London.

Defiant... squatters at the Royal Mint give a hand-fist wave from balcony [photo: Ken Mears]Defiant... squatters at the Royal Mint give a hand-fist wave from balcony [photo: Ken Mears]

The 20-to-50 strong group had taken over one of the five Grade II-listed buildings in the complex at Tower Hill on Monday in protest over homelessness.

But a judge today ruled that two companies who are the leaseholders were entitled to possession of the whole of Royal Mint Court property “forthwith”.

There were fears of the buildings being invaded tonight by hundreds of more trespassers for a New Year’s Eve rave, judge were told. It risked civil disturbance and huge costs in security.

But the squatters deny they were planning a New Year’s Eve rave at the Royal mint Court.

Royal Mint... occupied by squatters protesting at luxury properties left empty [photo: Vickie Flores]Royal Mint... occupied by squatters protesting at luxury properties left empty [photo: Vickie Flores]

“We just want to use buildings that have been empty more than six months,” one squatter, giving his name as Pete Phoenix, 45, told the East London Advertiser.

“It’s common sense to get a dialogue going between property owners and groups of homeless people who need shelter.

“No-one here is planning a New Year Eve rave—that’s false information.”

The squatters have begun a campaign for legislation to use buildings that have been empty more than half-a-year to be used for temporary projects including housing.

They suggest short-term leases could be used, pointing out that it would be “cheaper than paying for bed and breakfast” for the homeless in Britain today—including 105,000 children who spent Christmas in temporary B&B—while one-and-a-half building remain empty.

The squatters are expecting to be out of the occupied building by 3.30pm after the owners obtained High Court notice to quit.


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