Town centre squatters face eviction

SQUATTERS who have taken over a former social services property in the centre of a market town are facing eviction.

John Howard

SQUATTERS who have taken over a former social services property in the centre of a market town are facing eviction.

Police have confirmed an eviction notice was served last week to remove those who had moved into the building in Ipswich Street.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “It is a former social services building owned by the county council with about half a dozen squatters living there.

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“An eviction notice was served last week on the property and the county council are waiting for a court order to remove them.

“Clearly this may cause some concern within the community and if people are worried they should speak to us. We have had a few calls from residents letting us know that people are inside the building and it is being dealt with by the owners.

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“We appreciate that is a building is empty landlords may not wish to spend a lot of money, but we can always give appropriate advice.

“Buildings need to be as secure as possible, alarms working if they are installed, with good lighting and CCTV always helps.”

Residents said they were worried the property could be occupied for weeks before those inside - thought to have arrived at the beginning of the month - were moved on.

Stowmarket mayor Anne Whybrow said she was saddened there was a squat in a town centre property.

She said: “We would hope that while they are inhabiting this building that they treat the area with some respect and consideration for other people.

“There are procedures to go through to get them to vacate and I hope that the property department at Suffolk County Council addresses this issue with great haste.”

A spokesman for the local authority said: “The property, a former social services office, was empty and is due to be sold.

“We regret that this has happened and we hope to put the situation right as soon as possible to prevent any inconvenience to local residents.”

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