Page last updated at 21:42 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Protesters camp out in homes plea


The protesters have been squatting on council-owned land

Protesters have said they are prepared to camp out for months in an effort to force Birmingham City Council to build more affordable homes.

A group of protesters have begun squatting on council-owned land off Pershore Road in Birmingham.

They said they were among thousands in the city on waiting lists for social housing.

The city council said it built about 900 affordable homes a year and the protest was stopping new development.

The protesters have set up tents at the site and put up banners.

Protesters at scene
Protesters say they are prepared to stay at the site for months

Some of the people at the site said they had been on housing waiting lists for years.

Colette Tedstone said she had been on the council's waiting list for about three years.

She said: "I was sleeping in people's houses wherever I could, I was on the street for a bit as well."

Birmingham City Council said the protesters were preventing the building of new homes by trespassing on the site.

"This organisation is trespassing on council land which had been earmarked for new family homes," it said in a statement.

It said it was taking legal advice to "ensure this valuable site remains available".

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