Squatters strike in Stowmarket - again

YOUNG squatters who enjoyed a luxurious £1.1 million mansion have moved into a £125,000 two bedroom terraced house, which they have found rather pokey.

John Howard

YOUNG squatters who enjoyed a luxurious £1.1 million mansion have moved into a £125,000 two bedroom terraced house, which they have found rather pokey.

The group of nine 18 to 22-year-olds have been at 112 Bridge Street in Stowmarket - a mid terraced home close to the centre of Stowmarket - for about 11 days.

Some of them had previously been at the seven-bedroom at a Great Finborough country house near Stowmarket, Broad Oak, an exclusive 1860s Victorian mansion set among almost six stunning acres as it came up for sale.


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Otley College student Kieron Hart, 22, from Stowmarket, was among the squatters who were this morning preparing to move on, ahead of the bailiffs who they expected to arrive today .

The youngsters have been busy tidying the house and bagging up rubbish ahead of their departure and have replaced a small fence that got broken.

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Mr Hart, who is studying roofing, slating and tiling, said: “I was at Finborough and have found this house a little bit pokey. But you can't be fussy and shelter is a shelter. We have no electricity we do not worry about that.

“Before we leave we will tidy up and have been good neighbours. The walls are very thin and we are young and do not go to bed at 8pm or 9pm, and some families have kids and there has been a bit of a dispute.

“I have been squatting for two years, starting in a little house in Combs. We need more houses made available for the homeless. We are all homeless, no matter what people say we do not have mums and dads to go back to.”

Next door neighbour Joanna Scopes, 20, a student who lives with her parents said: “I was not too worried, they have been ok, a few noisy nights but they have done us no harm.

“The problem is that they are so nice, that you could not get too angry with them, although I am not really happy about it. It's one thing if it is an abandoned house but this is someone house they are trying to sell.”

A group of up to 30 youngsters from the Stowmarket area have now been working with Suffolk County Council to produce plans to support a funding application for a self-contained eight bed emergency assessment and support unit for young people aged 16 to 19 years old, who are affected by homelessness.

This facility, if it is created, will be permanently staffed and provide up to 28 days accommodation while young people work with housing support staff and other support services to make informed decisions about their housing needs and plans.

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