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Squatters face festive season hunt for new homes

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:22 05 October 2010

SQUATTERS are due to be removed from an empty block of flats today just weeks before Christmas. The 300 squatters moved in last autumn after the block of ex council flats in Cotall Street, Poplar, had been left empty for three years. Others moved in afte

SQUATTERS are due to be removed from an empty block of flats today just weeks before Christmas.

The 300 squatters moved in last autumn after the block of ex council flats in Cotall Street, Poplar, had been left empty for three years. Others moved in after the G20 protest in the spring.

But neighbours complained about noisy parties and even sex on the roof at the block and the council went to the courts to get an eviction notice to get the squatters to move on.

A spokeswoman for the squatters who gave her name only as Radiana said: "Why are the council evicting us just before Christmas? We will not be able to find anywhere else to go before the holiday, so families and children now face spending the festive season homeless on the streets."

A council spokeswoman said: "Tower Hamlets Homes housing officers have regularly visited the site to ensure the squatters were aware of the upcoming eviction. They have encouraged the squatters to engage with the council's Homeless and Housing Advice Service to discuss their housing options."

She added: "The property is being evicted to make way for a regeneration project that will see the current building demolished and replaced with new homes and improved open spaces.

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