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Squatters in Brimsdown call for more time to clear petrol station
Squatters living in a derelict petrol station demanded more time to clear the site despite court orders to evict them.
Police back up was called to the Thrifty MOT Centre in Brimsdown when up to seven people living on the private site refused to leave when asked by bailiffs.
Reverend Peter Nichols, who has lived in a caravan on the Brimsdown Avenue site for three years, claimed him and “his friends” needed a further 48 hours to move dozens of second-hand vehicles parked in the area before they are scrapped by the council.
He said: “We are still entitled to keep our possessions and they had no right to take them off us. The council are trying to rob us.
“I have never seen something as silly as this. It’s completely ludicrous.”
He claimed the way the authorities were acting in forcing them to leave the property, which is owned by the Three Sisters Property Company Limited, was “unpleasant” and said it would be impossible to move all the vehicles in time.
Dozens of used vehicles and parts are kept behind metal fencing lining the area, which Reverend Nichols – who runs his own religion The Church of All Worlds – claims are renovated and sold to help build schools in Africa.
Council officers started using trucks to clear illegally parked caravans and rusty cars from the area as many had not been declared off the road.
Reverend Nichols said tools stored inside the vehicles are worth a lot of money, and it would be unjust for the authorities to take away their belongings.
His friend, Nick St Clare, who lives in a caravan, called for the authorities to give them 48 hours to move their property and said it is “vindictive” for the squatters to be forced to leave immediately.
Reverend Nichols blamed the authorities for not understanding their chosen way of life, and said: “The fact is, there are different kinds of people in our society that do different things.
“They don’t understand charity work, they don’t understand people who want to live outside of the system – all they understand is money, money, money. They don’t understand people that don’t believe in our system.”
Although the owners of the site did not wish to speak to the Enfield Independent, it is understood they would like to develop it by building social housing.
Despite complaints from the public that the site is an “eyesore”, the reverend said it is used as a hub for people to meet and discuss environmental issues.
However, the eco-warrior admitted he does not follow conventionally green methods, and suggested recycling is a method of state control.
Reverend Nichols, who would not divulge his age, said: “I don’t spend my whole time recycling my rubbish because if I took orders from the council and the Government I would be off the track.
“I am not interested in recycling my rubbish because that is what the Government wants. Recycling is rubbish.
“It is rubbish, it is complete nonsense.”