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Evicted squatters in Brimsdown warn 'undesirables' likely to return
Squatters evicted from a derelict petrol station are warning the site could soon be taken over with “undesirables” now they are not there to protect it.
Reverend Peter Nichols and up to nine fellow eco-warriors moved to a “secret hideout” in Enfield on Saturday after being forced from the Thrifty MOT Centre in Brimsdown following a ten-day eviction battle.
He claims he and his friends had been protecting the site in Brimsdown Avenue since they moved in more than three years ago, which he said was previously home to drug-users, homeless people and prostitutes.
Although a high wooden fence has been erected to keep the squatters and their scores of second-hand vehicles away, he believes criminals will find a way in before it is demolished.
He said: “I would say there is a risk of that happening again. There always is with abandoned and derelict properties full of rubbish.
"It is quite possible that it leads to say homeless people and prostitutes moving in. But I don’t know, I am just speculating.
“I have no idea, but I would say that the same people that were using it before we moved in will come back again.”
He insists him and his friends moved in to protect the community from “undesirables” loitering in the abandoned petrol station, and prevent the spot from becoming a hub for crime while the site remained empty.
However, the owners of the site, the Three Sisters Property Company Limited, have been fighting to evict the squatters from their land with a view to build social housing.
Maniza Alrai, who runs the Brimsdown Post Office opposite the site, said although the wooden fence covering the site makes it look less of an eyesore, people still appear to be using the site.
She said: “They left but somebody has just told me the other day they are still in there – people are coming and going. It is boarded up but there’s still a bit of fence left.”
Mrs Alrai said she “can’t complain as much” now the squatters have been removed, but said the site is still a blight and affects the reputation of the area.
She added: “Even if it is boarded up, if you wanted to be doing business deals they are going to think ‘hang on a minute – what is going on in this area?’ And you have to explain to them what it is.”
Reverend Nichols, who runs his own religion called the Church of All Worlds from his caravan, is reeling at how he and his friends were treated during the eviction.
He said: “I was very angry. I was prepared to defend myself, my property and my friends and their property with my life. I mean I am British and I am not going to stand for this.
“The Government are blaming everyone for the failures of the banks. I have had enough of it and I have gone to war with them, I have become very, very angry.”