var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-41362908-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + 'stats.g.doubleclick.net/dc.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();
Home / Latest News / Masked squatters barricade themselves inside pub to avoid eviction

Masked squatters barricade themselves inside pub to avoid eviction

Masked squatters have taken to the roof of a former pub and barricaded its doors to avoid eviction by police and the building’s owners.

The squatters – who call themselves Gremlins – have been told they must leave the property after losing a court battle.

The activists, who have occupied the defunct Rumpoles pub opposite Cardiff Prison for the past three weeks, have even called in squatters from other parts of the city to help them resist eviction attempts.

Rumpoles, which was rebuilt in 1990, was sold by Brains brewery in 2009 after it failed to sustain itself financially.

In June Cardiff council’s planning committee approved a proposal by United Welsh housing association for 49 flats in a four and five-storey building.

United Welsh also owns the neighbouring buildings at Adams Court, which provides temporary residential accommodation for social housing tenants, and Newtown Court, which provides sheltered accommodation.

At least three gremlins could today be seen with ropes on the roof of the building, there faces obscured with masks.

Speaking from the barricade in front of the main entrance to the pub, one gremlin who said he was not squatting there but was showing his support, said squatters had occupied the building for the past three weeks after gaining entry through a “wide open” back door.

The gremlin, who did not give his name, said the squatters had tried to speak to the building’s owners about living in the property which is not due to be demolished until February.

“United Welsh housing just didn’t want to listen despite the fact that what they’re building here are homes for vulnerable people.

“These people are vulnerable, they are homeless.”

The squatters have hung a banner outside the building which reads “fire 2 the prisons”. The gremlin said the banner was to show “solidarity” with inmates incarcerated in the prison.

When asked why several squatters had climbed onto the roof, the gremlin said it was to make it more difficult for them to be removed.

He said United Welsh staff and several police officers had called at the former pub – now known as Prison Squat – at 10am before leaving soon after.

The gremlin told how the squatters had used a so-called phone-tree – which involves a text message being sent out to all the city’s squatters – in order to call for support.

He said there were up to 150 squatters who are part of the citywide Cardiff Squatters Network.

On Tuesday we reported how the some Gremlins had moved into the old Canton police station on Cowbridge Road East.

They have previously occupied the Bute Dock Hotel in Cardiff Bay and the former Spin ten-pin bowling centre on City Road.

Greg England, spokesman for United Welsh, said: “United Welsh obtained a court order requiring the occupiers of Rumpoles to vacate the property by 10am on August 8.

“By agreement with two of the occupants who attended court this included a period of seven days to allow them to find alternative accommodation. “United Welsh representatives attended the building this morning to find the occupants still in residence and refusing to leave. On that basis we are now reviewing our options and seeking legal advice.”

He added: “The building has been purchased by United Welsh to demolish and replace with much needed affordable housing. It is therefore ironic that we should find ourselves in this situation with the very people we are trying to help.

“Clearly the longer the occupants remain in the building the longer it will take us to build new homes for the benefit of the whole community.

“United Welsh is one of the largest providers of supported housing in Wales and we fully understand and sympathise with individuals and families who find themselves homeless through no fault of their own.

“In 2012 working alongside the Salvation Army we were able to open a new ‘Lifehouse’ for young homeless people in Cardiff aged between 16 and 25yrs. It is important work that not only supports those in need but also aids regeneration.”

A spokesman for South Wales Police said: “Officers did attend Moira Terrace in order to prevent a breach of the peace.”

Check Also

UCAS

A level results in Cardiff: How every school performed

Thousands of pupils across Cardiff have celebrated their A level results today. Across the city …