Missing young person among 16 squatters evicted from derelict pub
PUBLISHED: 14:26 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:05 30 October 2019
Sixteen squatters - including a missing young person - have been evicted from a disused pub following a High Court order.
East Suffolk Council said the illegal squat was removed from the former Marquis of Lorne pub, on Carlton Road in Lowestoft on October 10.
Seven people were initially found living in the squat, which was first reported to the council in September, but further investigations found a total of 16 people living there illegally, along with one dog.
On Thursday, October 10, the council's communities team carried out the eviction in partnership with Lowestoft Rising, Suffolk Police, Hayden Chemists and other community organisations.
According to the council, alongside bedding, tents and other equipment, there was evidence of drug use at the property and the individuals had accessed the building's electrical supply.
The property owners, Hayden Chemists, issued a court order demanding the occupants to give up possession of the property with immediate effect.
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When they refused to leave, Hayden Chemists secured a High Court writ to be served on the property.
At this point only four individuals remained, and they were evicted by bailiffs who made the building secure.
Richard Kerry, East Suffolk's cabinet member for housing said: "Some of those occupying the squat were vulnerable individuals and all of them were living in unsafe and illegal conditions.
"We have connected them with relevant local services with the aim of securing long-term accommodation and any other support necessary.
"Squats pose safety risks to those living within them, as well as to the local community by encouraging anti-social behaviour.
"The property owners have been left with the costs of securing the building and repairing any damage caused, as well as paying for the electricity which was illegally used.
"Our officers, and those of our partners, have given significant time to this case which is ultimately costly to the taxpayer.
"There is a wide support network available in this area to provide people facing homelessness with the support they need. Anyone finding themselves homeless, or at risk of homelessness, is advised to contact the Council's Housing Team immediately."