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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 10:06 GMT
Riot police clear 'oldest squat'
Riot police move in to the squat
Hundreds of police in full riot gear moved in on the squatters
More than 150 people have been evicted from what is thought to be London's oldest squat, following a major police and council operation.

About 200 riot police moved in on St Agnes Place, Kennington, on Tuesday where some squatters have been fighting attempts to remove them for 30 years.

Police carried out a final "sweep" of the road in south London, which is to be redeveloped, on Wednesday.

The squatters are being housed in temporary accommodation.

On Tuesday 200 officers and 20 police vans provided back-up for enforcement officers from Lambeth Council, which won a High Court battle to evict the squatters.

Squatter hangs dog out of window
This man dropped his dog and a petrol bomb from the second floor

But some refused to move and barricaded themselves into the properties.

One man threw a petrol bomb, before dropping his dog from a second-floor window - the dog was caught by a friend.

Chief Inspector Clive Wakely told BBC London he had left through the back of the building, but had been arrested - and his neighbours had then given themselves up.

"We are now in a situation where all the individuals have left the premises and this morning we will do a sweep to make sure there are not other individuals left in the road," he added.

Plans for St Agnes Place
New plans will see St Agnes Place being redeveloped

The council has pledged to provide alternative accommodation to the vulnerable and those with children.

It is estimated unpaid rent on the properties over 30 years amounted to 4m, plus a further 400,000 in council tax.

Mary Lynch, of Lambeth Council, told BBC News: "We can't justify letting people live in these houses rent free, council tax free, paying nothing towards the community when we have 12,000 people on our waiting list for houses."

It plans to demolish the properties and replace them with new homes - at least 75% affordable housing - and a sports centre.




SEE ALSO:
London's oldest squat faces end
04 Nov 05 |  London


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