We’re staying, say Archway squatters in £1million dream home
PUBLISHED: 07:03 11 February 2011 | UPDATED: 09:59 11 February 2011
SQUATTERS holed up in a posh empty Archway house – near to where actor Bill Paterson lives – have vowed to “stay as long as possible”.
Seven people – thought to be part of a group which invaded a £10million Highgate property in January – have been squatting in Gladsmuir Road.
Property owner John Hamilton-Brown said they broke into his house while builders were carrying out rennovations and that he had gained an interim possession order from Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court.
Squatters will now have to attend a hearing at the court next Thursday (17) to decide who should occupy the property – or they will face being evicted by the police shortly after.
Mr Hamilton-Brown, 36, and his wife Rebecca, 36, who have two young daughters, had been renovating their “dream family home” which they purchased in December.
He said: “We have worked hard to buy this property and this is a violation of our space – it is essentially trespassing. These people say they have rights but everything was locked and all the windows were bolted. It was a forced entry because the house was as secure as it could be. The whole situation has been frustrating and stressful.”
A gang of 30 people, mostly from Eastern Europe, caused controversy when they spent 18 days in January living at a multi-million pound pad in Broadlands Road, Highgate.
Bailiffs evicted them and it is believed members of the same group are now in Gladsmuir Road. The neighbouring street of Whitehall Park has celebrity residents Bill Paterson and Juliet Stephenson while Patsy Kensit and Boyzone singer Stephen Gately used to live there.
Signage highlighting squatters’ rights was visible in the front window of the occupied house.
One of the occupiers, a European man in his early 20s, said: “I am just trying to find a job, a place to live, a wife – to live the American dream so to speak. But I can’t even get a National Insurance number without proof of address.Every day we stay in this house is a bonus – we will be here as long as possible.”
The house used to belong to Carmel Morris who died last year after spending her whole life in the property. Neighbour Jack Simmons said: “The squatters were very opportunist. It is a worry if these people are looking to invade places which appear half empty.”
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