Thursday, January 22, 2009

Squatters move into the Duke of Westminster's £30million Park Lane mansions

My heart bleeds for him...not.

The Daily Mail is not happy though:

Squatters have taken over two seven-storey houses worth a total of £30million on one of London's most exclusive streets.

The 20 freeloaders - aged between 21 and 45 - took over the townhouses at numbers 94 and 95 Park Lane after they were left empty for a few weeks.

The squatters can enjoy the luxury of taking their dogs for walks in Hyde Park, rubbing shoulders with multi-millionaires.

One of the squatters, who gave his name only as Martin, said: 'The view at sunset over Hyde Park is just magic, especially from the penthouse. I really love it here.'

The neighbours are none to happy either at having such people on their well heeled doorstep :

The emergence of squatters at such a landmark address has already caused consternation among residents.

Ian Brimhurst, a member of the Westminster Homeowners’ Association, said: 'I’m very upset. We don’t want this sort of thing blighting such a beautiful part of London.'

Surely the fact that many people are homeless, sleeping on the street or a mate's sofa , while large properties lie empty is more of a blight ?

As someone who squatted years back , and was homeless as a kid, I support this action but with one concern. There are many homeless people on the streets in London and I would like to see this group of squatters open their doors to them, to try to find people who really need a place to stay.

I'm saying this as I have a feeling that the squatters may not have been homeless or desperate in the sense that many are who sleep rough, that this is perhaps more of a statement (and nothing wrong with that in principle), and I'm sure its nice that

"The group have set up an informal art collective, spending the days playing music and creating installations and paintings, "

But that does make me wonder if it is a group of middle class kids playing homeless who could easily run back to mummy and daddy when the going gets tough, unlike many. Being homeless is not a lifestyle choice .

I hope I'm being unfair and that this includes those sleeping rough and not just people wanting to be rebellious and have a nice view while creating an installation.