Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting ENFIELD NEWS to 80360, or email us
Squatters warn resistance likely as eviction from Brimsdown petrol station begins
The community watched this morning as bailiffs started to evict squatters from a derelict petrol station they made their home more than three years ago.
Two bailiffs entered the Thrifty MOT Centre in Brimsdown Avenue in Brimsdown at 9.30am after a court order issued earlier this year forced them to leave.
Seven people living in buildings and caravans on the site, owned by the Three Sisters Property Company Limited, were warned about the bailiff’s arrival and unlocked a metal fence guarding the area to allow them inside.
Reverend Peter Nichols, who lives in a caravan, spoke to the bailiffs and Enfield Borough Council officers but told the Enfield Independent their removal is a "conspiracy" and warned they may resist pressure to leave the site.
The eco-warrior, who runs his own science-fiction based religion The Church of All Worlds, said: "The council doesn’t have any rights to take our property. We are like a minority group in society.
"They are responsible to protect our human rights. We are being victimised."
People left their homes and shops to watch officers arrive to check over dozens of second-hand vehicles parked illegally on site, and the squatters start to sift through piles of car parts and scrap metal.
Maniza Alrai, who has run the post office opposite the cordoned-off site for 18 years, was delighted the squatters will soon be forced to leave.
She said: “It has hit the business because of the look of it – it isn’t very pretty to look at. Anybody coming here sees this site.
“It looks disgusting. I don’t know how they live in there like that. It gives me goosebumps.”
She claimed rubbish piling up on the site has attracted mice and rats over the years, and hopes that the squatters’ disappearance will solve the issue.
The female owners of the property stood by the fence of their petrol station as officers were inside the site, although refused to speak to the Enfield Independent.
A woman who has lived opposite the site for ten years, who wished to remain anonymous, said it was “amazing” to hear the squatters have been evicted because their dogs keep her awake at night by barking loudly.
She said: “It is embarrassing to invite people over to this house because this is what they see.
“I’m also a little bit nervous about potential crime which is probably a bit unfair to be judgemental but I can’t help it, it is a concern around here.”
She said the dogs are “intimidating” and it can be “creepy” because the people are usually sleeping during the day and are usually seen at night.
Eric Woodward, who lives in Carterhatch Road, said the site has been “a total eyesore” and said it is “unbelievable” the council does not have more powers to evict squatters from private land.