Brighton new homes site overrun by squatters

Brighton and Hove City Council faces a legal fight to evict squatters from Ainsworh House in Brighton

Brighton and Hove City Council faces a legal fight to evict squatters from Ainsworh House in Brighton Buy this photo

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

Squatters have overrun a site earmarked for Brighton’s first council homes for 30 years.

Planning permission to demolish asbestos-ridden Ainsworth House in Wellington Road was granted in April in a bid to reduce the city’s 12,000-strong housing waiting list.

Community wardens discovered that between 15 and 25 squatters had broken into the building on Tuesday (November 29).

The site has stood empty and unused for three years.

The council now faces a legal battle to remove the squatters before demolition work can begin.

Family homes

A plan to build 12 flats and three family houses on the site was the flagship of the Tory council’s new build strategy before the Green council victory in May.

When planning permission was first granted, Bill Randall, now the Green leader of the council, said: “The homes are much-needed, especially the family houses.”

But an expert involved in drafting the original plans yesterday accused the Greens of leaving an “open invitation” to squatters by dragging their feet on the project.

Open invitation

Stuart Gover, vice-chairman of the Brighton City Assembly, said: “They are showing no interest in pursuing the build at all.

“It’s been an open invitation for squatters for years. The Greens are simply not doing what they have committed to do.”

Three developers have been shortlisted by the council to complete the work but Mr Gover claimed none had even submitted a cost breakdown yet.

Asbestos removal

Coun Randall said: “The problem is that there is asbestos in the building which has to be removed. That takes time.

“We are certainly not dragging our feet on this. We want these homes to be built.”

When approached, a squatter told the Argus that they felt housing was “a right, not a privilege”.

He said most of the others were spending yesterday (November 30) marching against public sector cuts.

Neighbour Jacob Collins complained: “It’s a real pain.

"There are people who have waited years on the housing list and now they may have to wait even longer.”

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Comments (17)

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2:15pm Thu 1 Dec 11

Fercri Sakes says...

I think The Argus is being guest edited by Jeremy Clarkson this week :)
I think The Argus is being guest edited by Jeremy Clarkson this week :) Fercri Sakes
  • Score: 0

2:35pm Thu 1 Dec 11

DiNozzoGibbs says...

Oh good... I was wondering how more of my taxpayers money could be wasted before Christmas, now I needn't be concerned!
Oh good... I was wondering how more of my taxpayers money could be wasted before Christmas, now I needn't be concerned! DiNozzoGibbs
  • Score: 0

3:04pm Thu 1 Dec 11

Mart2a says...

Comment in the story was " Squatters had BROKEN IN" if that is the case ie forced entry then they have broken the law and therefore drag em by the ear, or as said before bulldoze the site ooops oh dear didnt see you there. SIMPLES
Comment in the story was " Squatters had BROKEN IN" if that is the case ie forced entry then they have broken the law and therefore drag em by the ear, or as said before bulldoze the site ooops oh dear didnt see you there. SIMPLES Mart2a
  • Score: 0

3:18pm Thu 1 Dec 11

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Oh dear the squatters probably now face getting asbestosis.
A very, very nasty disease.
Oh dear the squatters probably now face getting asbestosis. A very, very nasty disease. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 0

4:03pm Thu 1 Dec 11

Servalan says...

Fercri Sakes wrote:
I think The Argus is being guest edited by Jeremy Clarkson this week :)
Are you suggesting Argus staff should be rounded up and shot in front of their families?
[quote][p][bold]Fercri Sakes[/bold] wrote: I think The Argus is being guest edited by Jeremy Clarkson this week :)[/p][/quote]Are you suggesting Argus staff should be rounded up and shot in front of their families? Servalan
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Thu 1 Dec 11

Servalan says...

Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
Oh dear the squatters probably now face getting asbestosis.
A very, very nasty disease.
lol hilarious. Of course, they probably won't want NHS treatment because that would constitution by 'Big Pharma'. Whoops!
[quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: Oh dear the squatters probably now face getting asbestosis. A very, very nasty disease.[/p][/quote]lol hilarious. Of course, they probably won't want NHS treatment because that would constitution by 'Big Pharma'. Whoops! Servalan
  • Score: 0

4:21pm Thu 1 Dec 11

Serf says...

Servalan wrote:
Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
Oh dear the squatters probably now face getting asbestosis.
A very, very nasty disease.
lol hilarious. Of course, they probably won't want NHS treatment because that would constitution by 'Big Pharma'. Whoops!
A good personal injury claim ?
[quote][p][bold]Servalan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: Oh dear the squatters probably now face getting asbestosis. A very, very nasty disease.[/p][/quote]lol hilarious. Of course, they probably won't want NHS treatment because that would constitution by 'Big Pharma'. Whoops![/p][/quote]A good personal injury claim ? Serf
  • Score: 0

4:42pm Thu 1 Dec 11

Fercri Sakes says...

Servalan wrote:
Fercri Sakes wrote:
I think The Argus is being guest edited by Jeremy Clarkson this week :)
Are you suggesting Argus staff should be rounded up and shot in front of their families?
Do they have gilt-edged pensions?
[quote][p][bold]Servalan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Fercri Sakes[/bold] wrote: I think The Argus is being guest edited by Jeremy Clarkson this week :)[/p][/quote]Are you suggesting Argus staff should be rounded up and shot in front of their families?[/p][/quote]Do they have gilt-edged pensions? Fercri Sakes
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Thu 1 Dec 11

leobrighton says...

Probably better to have squatters cos the new homes will only be given to Somalians
Probably better to have squatters cos the new homes will only be given to Somalians leobrighton
  • Score: 0

5:25pm Thu 1 Dec 11

AmboGuy says...

Why was my last comment deleted??

The squatters quote about housing being a 'right' perfectly sum up the freeloading handout society we live in.

They should just go back to Mummy and Daddy.
Why was my last comment deleted?? The squatters quote about housing being a 'right' perfectly sum up the freeloading handout society we live in. They should just go back to Mummy and Daddy. AmboGuy
  • Score: 0

5:27pm Thu 1 Dec 11

Officeboy says...

I would hardly call Stuart Gover an expert!!
Another part time chair of a residents association given another title of a meaningless residents associations get together.
I would hardly call Stuart Gover an expert!! Another part time chair of a residents association given another title of a meaningless residents associations get together. Officeboy
  • Score: 0

5:34pm Thu 1 Dec 11

davyboy says...

simple way to get them out! start clearing the site round them, and then reduce the place to rubble, section by section. if they broke in, then it is illegal entry and the police can arrest them for trespass. housing is only a right if you obtain it in the correct way, ie, without breaking in!!
simple way to get them out! start clearing the site round them, and then reduce the place to rubble, section by section. if they broke in, then it is illegal entry and the police can arrest them for trespass. housing is only a right if you obtain it in the correct way, ie, without breaking in!! davyboy
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Thu 1 Dec 11

PorkBoat says...

I wonder if the residents of the proposed new council homes will be of the same calibre as the delightful residents of the three blocks opposite (Barclay House etc)?
I wonder if the residents of the proposed new council homes will be of the same calibre as the delightful residents of the three blocks opposite (Barclay House etc)? PorkBoat
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Thu 1 Dec 11

hubby says...

The houses were empty.
Some people had no homes.
They used the empty homes.
Win,win all round in my book!
The houses were empty. Some people had no homes. They used the empty homes. Win,win all round in my book! hubby
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Thu 1 Dec 11

AmboGuy says...

hubby wrote:
The houses were empty.
Some people had no homes.
They used the empty homes.
Win,win all round in my book!
And they might get Asbestosis - another plus.
[quote][p][bold]hubby[/bold] wrote: The houses were empty. Some people had no homes. They used the empty homes. Win,win all round in my book![/p][/quote]And they might get Asbestosis - another plus. AmboGuy
  • Score: 0

9:59pm Thu 1 Dec 11

Servalan says...

AmboGuy wrote:
hubby wrote:
The houses were empty.
Some people had no homes.
They used the empty homes.
Win,win all round in my book!
And they might get Asbestosis - another plus.
Indeed - Darwinism in action yet again!
[quote][p][bold]AmboGuy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hubby[/bold] wrote: The houses were empty. Some people had no homes. They used the empty homes. Win,win all round in my book![/p][/quote]And they might get Asbestosis - another plus.[/p][/quote]Indeed - Darwinism in action yet again! Servalan
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Fri 2 Dec 11

Archie Bun says...

Can't see the problem myself. They move into a house that could potentially kill them. Fine. Their choice so they can't complain when they get ill. Just knock it down anyway.
Can't see the problem myself. They move into a house that could potentially kill them. Fine. Their choice so they can't complain when they get ill. Just knock it down anyway. Archie Bun
  • Score: 0

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