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Crime warnings from squatters at Brimsdown petrol station 'over the top'
A council chief has dismissed claims that a derelict petrol station will attract crime to the area as “over the top”.
Squatter Reverend Peter Nichols told the Enfield Independent today that “undesirables” including homeless people and drug-users could make use of the Thrifty MOT Centre in Brimsdown now he and up to nine others have been evicted.
But Enfield Borough Council's cabinet member for the environment Councillor Chris Bond said the squatter’s claims are “a bit over the top” and “just ridiculous”.
He said the council would expect the owners of the land to secure it, and the council could take action against them if they fail to do so.
Rev Nichols believes he and his friends have been protecting the site in Brimsdown Avenue, which he said was previously home to drug-users, homeless people and prostitutes.
Following a ten-day eviction battle, squatters moved to a “secret hideout” in Enfield on Saturday after living at the locked site for more than three years.
The owners of the land, the Three Sisters Property Company Limited, was desperately trying to evict the squatters from their land with a view to build social housing.
Since the squatters' eviction, they have erected a high wooden fence around the site to stop people from getting in.
Cllr Bond said the council is "pleased" the squatters have been removed, but admitted it is a shame the process took so long.
He added: “It is unfortunate that this has taken a lot of time but we have to do things properly – you can’t just barge in willy nilly.
"I know that a lot of people do want that to happen but it would end up with the council in court as well.
“You can’t believe the hoops that you have to go through – a lot of these people really know the law.”