Squatters hold their lines in Lyminster eviction drama

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BAILIFFS failed in their attempts to evict squatters from an abandoned community centre in Lyminster this morning (January 29).

For the past three weeks, activists from the Rainbow Common Wealth have been illegally residing at the former Meadview centre, off Lyminster Road.

Protesters inside the Meadview Centre as council contractors weld the gate shut. SUS-150129-190709001

Protesters inside the Meadview Centre as council contractors weld the gate shut. SUS-150129-190709001

They are fighting to preserve the facility as a community hub and prevent it from becoming a horticultural nursery.

However, today a team of bailiffs – ordered by a county court judge and supported by police – attempted to storm the site and evict the campaigners.

A band of 25 activists, waving flags and banners, barricaded themselves inside the former HOMElink-run centre, using cars to block the site’s entrance and rubbish to create further barriers.

Some even took to the roof of the derelict centre, in a bid to avoid eviction.

Campaigner on the roof of the Meadview Centre, in Lyminster, to avoid bailiffs SUS-150129-190720001

Campaigner on the roof of the Meadview Centre, in Lyminster, to avoid bailiffs SUS-150129-190720001

Hilaire Purbrick, a spokesman for the group, said: “We felt like we were being bullied, intimidated and that nothing legal was done with us. The paper work wasn’t signed and they admitted they didn’t have a warrant and to be honest they really didn’t have the moral high ground.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Police were asked to attend in case of a breach of the peace.

“Nearly all of the occupants and vehicles left but two people went on the roof of the one of the buildings.”

He added that officials from Arun District Council decided that the squatters ‘could stay on the roof until they came down of their own accord’.