Sussex

'Missiles thrown' during Brighton squat eviction

Squatters facing eviction from a property in Brighton have thrown missiles at officials, a council has said.

About 25 people have been living at Ainsworth House, Wellington Road, which has been earmarked for redevelopment.

Brighton and Hove City Council said the eviction was halted for safety reasons.

Squatters, who have been at the property since November, previously told the BBC they were making good use of an empty building.

The derelict property, which used to provide sheltered housing for older people, is to be replaced with 12 flats and three homes.

'Resolve situation peacefully'

Police and officials tried to evict the group on Wednesday after the council was granted a possession order at Brighton County Court on Monday.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: "We have tried hard to enter into a dialogue with the squatters to resolve this situation peacefully.

"So far the squatters have refused to engage with our attempts to offer them housing advice and support.

"Unfortunately today's [Wednesday's] actions by the squatters - barricading themselves in and throwing missiles from the windows - have meant that the police and High Court Sheriff deemed it unsafe to continue with an eviction today.

"The council will work with the Police and High Court Sheriff to put in place measures to resolve the situation as quickly as possible."

He added: "We are very concerned about the continuing general disturbance and noise nuisance caused by the squatters.

"Local residents, some of whom are vulnerable people, are being seriously affected. The redevelopment of the Ainsworth House site is vital. It will yield much-needed affordable housing."

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