Feb 10 2014

Harrow Council Clears Disused Toilet Block After Squatters Move In

harrow_council_logoA DISUSED public toilet which is up for auction has been boarded up after squatters broke in and occupied the building.

The single story 1960s block at Whitchurch Lane is due for auction on February 13th and is one of a number of local authority buildings being sold to put money back into services.

However, Harrow Council officers had to gain entry to the building after it emerged a group of people had begun living in the former toilet block – installing a cooker, fridge, microwave, and powering the derelict building by illegally tapping off electricity from a mains supply.

Accompanied by police, council officers used bolt cutters to get into the building on Wednesday 5th February just before 1pm. While the building was empty, clothes were hung on impromptu lines and frying pans were left on the cooker hob. A double mattress was pushed into the corner of what had been the men’s urinal.

While nobody was found in at the building, papers examined by police at the scene suggest the occupants were Romanian.

public_toilet_squatterCllr Susan Hall, leader of Harrow Council, said: “This was a public convenience, but it was not mean to be quite that convenient for the squatters who have evidently turned into a one bedroom flat. What this shows is that the pressures of Eastern European migration are rippling out into suburbia. People may be desperate to resort to these measures, but this is a building the council needs to sell to put money into services. As it is, the taxpayer is going to be left spending more than a penny to repair the damage done at this site.”

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