Thursday, 4 April 2013

Now Its Squatters In The Old Bank Chambers


One of the squatters trying not to be identified
Old bank Chambers at 2-4 Green Lane
First it was a proposed Mosque site, now it appears squatters have moved into the old bank chambers at 2-4 Green Lane! After someone put sheets in the front window it was obvious something was going on. A ‘squatters legal notice’ on the door leaves little doubt as to what it is.

Same one before realising there's a camera
Two people were spotted inside the building, one a man in his twenties; the other could not be seen properly. They clearly didn’t want to be identified and continuously avoided answering the question ‘Are you living here?’

legal notice
The new LASPO S144 law does not apply here as it only makes squatting in residential buildings a criminal offence. Therefore the police can’t evict them. So it is now down to the owners of the building to start legal proceedings to have them evicted by bailiffs. Unless the building has quietly changed hands, these are same people who wanted to turn it into a Mosque.




22 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

CW1 said...

my god. Can WP get any worse !

Schnitzelkiks said...

WP - Which do you prefer - place of worship or squatters?


It's funny when you get a result you set out to achieve but it still manages to bite you in the arse!

disgruntedWPer said...

Were the squatters invited by the Mosque planners, so that people would then actually prefer a mosque to this bunch of losers ?

Alan Carey said...

I got to say i would prefer Squatter's as there won't be hundreds visiting at all hours of the day or night 7days a week and they won't be needing to park as many cars.

Simon Densley (Consv Activist) said...

Provided they buy from the local shops and not just shoplift from them. If they think it's alight to steal rent from the owner of a property do you think they would have any respect for the idea of paying local traders for the products they sell?

Johnboy said...

Living on the doorstep, though I don't agree with squatting, I would still rather have a couple of squatters in there than loads of people coming and going at all hours of the day and night to attend a place of worship. Either way its not ideal. Shame it cannot be used for what it was originally designed for - office space.
I don't believe the owners have made any effort to sell or rent out the building since their planning was refused and I guess there are folk out there who are always on the look out for empty properties such as this for somewhere to live.

Anna Dibartolo said...

Let's hope that these squatters are clean and respectful - for the sake of all the optimists who have already posted. A couple of squatters? Word will get out and before we know it, there will be a whole community of squatters. It's bad enough trying to evict tenants who have a tenancy agreement, never mind those who don't.

Detlef said...

No I do not think so - also I am slightly worried about the people of WP responses.

DT expects them to buy local!!! Sure I can really visualise the squatters going to Rossy's for their spring greens before popping into Medusa caffe for their morning coffee. Personally I really think that WP Dentists on the high street will also in no doubt see a benefit from these squatters too, as they are of course the new generation squatters with clean teeth. We do not need to mention the benefit to the many hairdressers either, they are so stylish they were shy of having their picture taken while not being fully groomed up!

It now is all clear to me, Gregg’s is doomed, these squatters will form queues outside Born Sushi for their daily health fix, as is the Poundland, although they do have great deals on toothpaste (see importance above) so they might just survive. The bank chambers building will see a great benefit too, they already begun decorating the interior (great color choice btw).

I can not wait to see how the exterior of the building will benefit either, I am convinced that super strength beer/cider cans are off the menu and that only the finest Claret will be drunk (I trust these fine bottles will be recycled properly too).

A said...

Absolutely agree....why people are rallying in support of squatters, purely on the basis that in their minds they are the lesser of two evils - i.e criminals/trespassers vs Muslims - is beyond me. What an eyesore! Are we really encouraging squatters to take up residence in any unused premises in Worcester Park??

As has been mentioned above, the owners pay good money to rent these premises, and to condone squatters moving in and effectively depriving them of the use of the building is just plain wrong - for or against any proposed mosque.

DT said...

Can you explain how they are stealing rent? The rent will be paid by the group who have the lease, so the owner of the property will not be out of pocket. They may be stealing electricity but that is a criminal offence and can cause immediate eviction, so I doubt as they seem to know the law, they would do that. It looks like they are part of the Hactivist group who highlight empty buildings.

A said...

Can I just say that it costs property owners, leaseholders, Insurers -whoever - a lot money to evict squatters from premises in which they have taken up residence.

So therefore, how is this encouraging business in Worcester Park, if potential investors/leaseholders know that the first thing they will potentially have to do when they take over a property is fork out hundreds of pounds for a court order/bailiffs to evict squatters.

And please - do you honestly think the people squatting in the premises will really be a net inputter to the community when costs for rubbish clearance and eviction etc is taken into account? What do you honestly think they will be purchasing from the local community? A new kitchen from the Kitchen Studios? Or perhaps a bathroom suite from Coles?

So I cannot see why this is just ok and acceptable. What about the old building society next to the butchers in the high street, would everyone be fine if squatters took over that property as well? Or what about the old garden shop on the bend? Maybe we should advertise the vacant properties on some kind of squatters gumtree to make it easier for them to relocate?

Dave said...

I wonder how they gained entry. Presumably not by force.

Clean up the High Street said...

As per usual squatters are a law unto themselves just as travellers who just park where they please and then leave before any lawful action taken can be enforced are. As for squatters taking up residence in the old Drury and Cole shop next to the butchers, they could only improve it! When are the Council going to enforce some sort of notice to clean and tidy up the property on the owner of those premises? It is an eyesore and should have been dealt with years ago.

Simon Densley (Consv Activist) said...

The old Drury and Cole shop is scheduled to be cleaned up very soon. The premises was owned by the lady who was part of the Drury and Cole business family and she had never wanted her shop used for anything else. Unfortunately she has recently passed away, leaving the shop to her children. The council have opened dialogue with one of the new owners to try and get it cleaned up. This should be happening soon, starting with a display of posters - a bit like the 'You Are Here' shop up the road.

Stewart Nonsuch Mackay said...

Do we know if they part of activist group?

shelokay said...

any empty building is attractive to squatters.. the people who own the place should of done more to protect it!

Margeret Thatcher said...

I'll take the squatters any day of the week!

Not a Prayer Hater said...

MT, I guess you also argued that "traffic" was the real issue? Nuts!

Simon Densley (Consv Activist) said...

why does it need to be a choice between a Mosque causing more traffic chaos and squatters? What about: Neither!

Little Smiff said...

Anybody know what the result of all the police activity in Bank Chambers yesterday? I drove past at about 5.30pm and there were a considerable number of officers and associated vehicles. Went past again this morning and all seems just like it was yesterday. Bit puzzled as to why the squatters can't be charged with unlawful entry as, I'm presuming, they had to force their way into this building in the first place. I await to be informed and corrected, if necesssary.

DT said...

Unlawful Entry is part of the theft act of 1968 and only relates to burglary. That is why the offence of squatting in a non comercial property was introduced to allow owner occupiers whose property was squatted in, an effective means of quickly (days/hours) getting rid of the squatters. Also unlawful entry is so hard to prove, an example in case law is of a man half in and half out of a window removing valuables from the property.



This is a commercial property (offices) so those laws do not apply. They can be charged under the theft act if they use services supplied to the property gas, electricty, water phone etc as these are 'owned' by the supplying company or the owners of the property, or criminal damage if their means of entry caused damage (but this is very rare as most buildings do not have that level of security)



But the Police will not normally get involved in these sort of occupations unless asked to by court appointed baliffs, who believe there is a substantial risk of a breach of the peace.

Max Kington said...

Drove past today. Bayliff type looking chap at door with door open. Squatters by the benches with enough carrier bags to sink the Nimitz. I guess that's Bayliffs 1, squatters, 0.

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