Mayfair squatters told to leave immediately by High Court

16 Grosvenor Street About 40 squatters have been living in the Mayfair offices in Grosvenor Street

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A group squatting in a building in London's Mayfair have been ordered to leave immediately by the High Court.

About 40 people have been occupying offices at 16 Grosvenor Street.

They include homeless people but others are squatting saying empty properties in the city could be used to house the homeless.

Mr Justice Henderson granted a possession order to lease holders Quintain, ruling the squatters had "no conceivable defence" against eviction.

Squatter spokesman Jed Miller, 23, who is studying law, said group members were expecting bailiffs to evict them from the building later on Wednesday.

'Unnecessary anxiety'

He said the group included people who were homeless and vulnerable because of physical and mental health problems and they might need the services of homeless charities.

"There are also a number squatting for political reasons. There are thousands of empty properties in London which could be used to house the homeless.

"We will move to the next squat, as we have done the other times," he said.

On Tuesday, the judge adjourned the case for the squatters to take legal advice, especially with regard to whether they had a right to remain in the offices on human rights grounds.

But he ruled at a brief hearing at London's High Court that no such case had been put forward and property firm Quintain was entitled to an order for possession.

Mr Miller requested that the group be notified before the bailiffs came in because one of their number had severe anxiety problems.

The judge said: "The remedy is in your own hands. The best way to avoid unnecessary anxiety is to leave immediately."

Following the ruling, leaseholders Quintain said they were working with the police and homelessness charity Thames Reach to ensure squatters leaving the premises were looked after appropriately.

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