Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Out of the Void

From yesterday's Standard:

'Squatters were evicted today from a council building they had converted into a venue for illegal raves. High Court enforcement officers removed about 15 people from the former housing offices in Peckham owned by Southwark council...

The Peckham squatters gained access to the building [in Meeting House Lane] about four months ago, renaming it "The Void" and erecting a stage for performances in a large back room. Paintings and murals covered the walls and members of the group lived in rooms still packed with council documents. The squatters included teenagers and a number of dogs were kept at the property, which had been empty for two years and was due to be renovated...

Grandmother Raga Woods, 69, who has lived in squats for 50 years, said: "These squats are providing homes for people on very low incomes. We have a sense of community. We put on entertainment and we do a lot of good. All of us are considerate to the neighbours as well. Some of them complained that we were playing the music too loud at night so we turned it down. If not for us, these buildings would just be sitting empty. This particular building has been empty for years. That's why it is called The Void."'

(this is the former Acorn Estate Housing Office - I believe Southwark Council has agreed in principle to grant a lease to local voluntary organisation The Peckham Settlement to develop a new building there)

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