Haven’t posted up here for a while as we have been busy trying to organise the plans for planning permission (never mind the ongoing day to day activities of the work that Phoenix Community Care is involved in). We were quite excited about the planning permission going into the council but the week we post them our building got squatted.
I have always (personally) had a lot of time for squatters when buildings are not getting used and sit there for years but I was quite surprised by the response of these so called “squatter”s.
Went with the police at beginning of February and they seemed to not realise that we were a charity and promised that they would move on in the next few days. Ah yes I was right about the general squatters community being friendly and wanting not to cause social community groups any harm…. This was not the case when we went to see them leave. We arrived 5 days later to see two other people that we hadn’t met before who said that are not willing to leave and that we should house them. They didn’t like our charity or us and so we would have to look into solicitors and pay money to remove them. Charming!
They were quite rude a few days later to one of our staff who went to collect some furniture from the building. This rudeness which I won’t detail here (save the typing of such ugly behaviour) was the last straw and so the court proceedings would be the only way to follow. A few in the local community have offered vigilante groups and heavy bods (they shall not be named) but we felt it was safer to go the legal route (obviously but still tempting). These people have given the squatter community a bad name and hope that the wider community of squatters address these people who have crossed the line.
We have the help of a great solicitor who has served the papers this morning and we shall be removing the squatters soon. Hopefully we will be back to fundraising for the building by the end of March with Planning permission granted (posted to council two weeks ago).
We still are excited even though we have these set backs but keep supporting and if you have any ideas or thoughts then please come back to us.