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Seafront squatters evicted
8:20am Thursday 1st February 2007 in Search
Safety officers have evicted squatters from a derelict building after they started a gallery and cafe inside.
Inspectors ruled Medina House on Hove seafront yesterday unfit for living in and forced out a group which had set up camp there.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, police and health and safety officers from Brighton and Hove City Council took action after the squatters opened it to the public.
Elijah Smith, of squatters group Brighton Community Resource, said they had moved into the historic building as a protest against residential developments planned there.
Medina House is earmarked for demolition and redevelopment as a block of flats and nearby is the controversial King Alfred site. Both proposals have been criticised for their scale and unconventional architectural design.
Mr Smith said: "We are not doing anything illegal here and we have had a surprising amount of support from the local residents.
"We did a questionnaire and 75 per cent of people here said they supported us."
Sirus Taghan, owner of Medina House, said: "It will be a big relief to get rid of them from my point of view and from the residents' point of view too. Hopefully this will be the end of it."