Heathrow Squatters - a very public eviction on the horizon?

In a recent article we reported that a group of squatters known collectively as Grow Heathrow/Transition Heathrow that had for some time been occupying land that forms part of the proposed new Heathrow runway had lost their appeal against a possession order granted to the landowner.

In the days following the Court of Appeal's judgment, the squatters indicated that they may seek permission to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.  As no further mention has been made of that appeal, in public at least, it would appear that they have decided against that course of action.  However, as was expected, they have not vacated the site, nor does it appear that they have any intention to do so.

The group have through their website asked for assistance in ensuring that the site remains occupied at all times, referring also to the Landlord's preference for "bailiffs to dialogue". It appears, therefore, that an eviction is looming.

Given the media interest in the case previously and the support that the squatters had from members of the surrounding area and some 'celebrities', it will be no surprise if the eviction is played out before our eyes across the many media platforms a la Dale Farm.

Substantial costs have been incurred in this matter to date. Those costs will escalate further when the possession order is enforced. The case is a timely reminder that landowners should regularly inspect their property, ensure that it is secure (especially any property or land that is supposed to be vacant)  and take prompt, lawful steps to remove any trespassers.

Where trespassers are found to be in occupation of the land, the sooner action is taken, the more likely it is that possession can be recovered quickly and at minimal costs. Rollits' Property Dispute Resolution Team has a wealth of experience in dealing with trespassers, whether it be the removal of trespassers or providing proactive advice on steps to be taken to minimise the risk of falling victim to trespassers in the first place.  If you have any queries relating any property related dispute, please contact Ralph Gilbert, partner and Head of the Property Dispute Resolution Group on 01482 323239 or ralph.gilbert@rollits.com

Posted on: 12/09/2013

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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