THE housing minister has pledged to “shut the door” on squatters' rights after a string of incidents across the borough.

Grant Shapps pledged the Government would make squatting a criminal offence in March, after an increase in groups taking over properties across London, including in Enfield.

Last month the Enfield Independent reported last month how 15 people in their 20s took over a disused NHS office block in Eaton Road, Enfield Town, causing “extensive damage according to NHS North Central London.

And ongoing problems with squatters in homes that are being regenerated on the A406 in Palmers Green meant that 50 properties in the area were illegally occupied from January to July.

Mr Shapps said that the Government were still committed to tacking squatting and bringing more empty homes back into use.

He said: “We've been clear that we want to bring more empty homes back into use, which is why I'm making £100 million available to help council-led efforts to do so and rewarding those that house people in former empty homes through the New Homes Bonus, by matching the council tax raised on those properties for six years.

“But I also want to shut the door on so-called squatters' rights once and for all, and end the misery, expense and hassle that far too many people have had to endure for too long, which is why we are consulting on making squatting a criminal offence.”