Derby

Battle to evict squatters from former Derby clock firm

John Smith Clockmakers in Derby
Image caption The building was opened in 1856 on Queen Street in Derby

The owner of a historic Derby building that is falling into disrepair is trying to evict a group of squatters.

The John Smith & Sons building was the headquarters of the clock firm for more than 150 years until it moved more than a decade ago.

Developer Joseph De Winter said he was drafting a request for the eviction which he will take to Derbyshire County Court soon.

None of the squatters at the building were available for comment.

'Nice squatters'

Maxwell Craven, of Derby Civic Society, is calling for the former John Smith clockmakers building to be listed.

"We would like to have it added to the statutory list and we have applied to English Heritage for it to be listed," Mr Craven said.

Sally Crawford, of Tiffany Jordan Bridal Wear, which is located next to the building, said: "It is such a beautiful building and the architecture is absolutely fabulous.

"It is a privilege to be located next to a building like that.

"To see it restored to its full glory would be absolutely wonderful for us."

Mr De Winter would not give details of his plans for redevelopment of the site.

Councillor Alan Grimadell, Conservative councillor on Derby City Council, said the people occupying the building had tried to protect it.

"The squatters have tried to preserve the leaking roof and they have looked after it for 18 months. If there is a term 'nice squatters' then it is significant that we have had nice squatters."

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