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Squatters take over £5million building and make mess of Finsbury street

PUBLISHED: 14:38 09 December 2010 | UPDATED: 15:51 10 December 2010

The old Unite building currently being occupied by squatters

The old Unite building currently being occupied by squatters

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SQUATTERS have taken over a £5million office building – and are causing a real stink by allowing their dogs to defecate in a communal pathway.

The group of squatters took over the former Unite building in Moreland Street, Finsbury, more than a month ago, and ever since dog mess has been piling up in an alley running alongside the property.

Residents, who have to use the pathway in order to access their offices, have now complained to Islington Council about the state of the area – even though the squatters gritted the alley during last week’s snowfall.

Simon Meaker, who works in the adjacent building, said: “There is a lot of dog poo in the alley right outside our office and it’s not very nice to have to walk through. They have around 15 dogs in there and that obviously leads to a lot of mess, but that is no reason to allow them to use a communal space in order to get rid of it.

“They seem like nice enough people and they even salted the alley for us when it snowed last week. It is a large building and it is a shame to leave it empty but this is not an ideal solution.”

Residents alerted both the local police and the council when the squatters first arrived, but were informed that nothing could be done to remove the group until the owners of the building had been through official court proceedings to have them legally evicted.

A representative from the council was sent to speak to the group about the mess left by their dogs and he believes that the problem has improved since.

The council worker, who asked not to be named, said: “We made contact with them when they first moved here and again about the issue with the dogs. We have had less of it recently, but we have still had to come here and clear it up.”

He added: “I don’t think they are planning to move on until they are legally obligated to. I believe that the buildings’ owners have taken the first steps to having them legally evicted but I don’t think they will have to leave before January.”

The group have posted signs in the windows of the buildings, citing their legal rights and cautioning anyone against attempting to illegally evict them from the property.

Mr Meaker said: “They seem very aware of their rights. Someone from our office parked their car outside the building over the weekend and they told her to move it because she was blocking their access. That seems a bit ridiculous.”

He added: “We saw them moving a rather large sound system into the building last week. They are probably planning some kind of Christmas rave before they are officially removed.”


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