Lewes squatters given the boot by court

Lewes squatters open veg shop
Lewes squatters open veg shop

Squatters in a Grade II listed Lewes building have been told to quit the premises.

The activists took over the former solicitors’ offices on School Hill last week and transformed it into an “affordable veg shop and social centre for the disgruntled”.

But this week a court judgment ruled that they must vacate the property.

“We were hoping the judge would grant us three weeks in the premises for us to continue our project and to organise a managed retreat with our equipment,” said spokesperson Mel Goldman.

“However the judge said that however good our intentions, the fact is, the building’s owners want it back.

“We have established a huge need for good quality affordable food in Lewes.

“We have also met countless locals who are struggling with the rise in bills, the depression of wages and changes to the welfare system.

“We would argue that there is a definite need for a social centre where people can get help or meet others in similar straits.

“We hope to continue this project elsewhere.”

The owners and activists are now in discussions to agree a time and date for a handover so that the building can be safely secured.

This could be as soon as Monday (May 13).

Meanwhile Lewes town councillor Stephen Caitlin has suggested the district council should buy the property and transform it into one bedroom flats for social rent, instead of a single home.