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Eileen House occupied by squatters days before Boris decision

London SE1 website team

Eileen House - an empty office block at Elephant & Castle which is the subject of one of London's most controversial planning applications - has been occupied by squatters.

Eileen House occupied by squatters days before Boris decision

Next week Mayor of London Boris Johnson is due to adjudicate on Oakmayne's plans to redevelop the site of the 1960s office block on Newington Causeway with a 41-storey tower in the face of opposition from the adjacent Ministry of Sound club and others.

The Self-Organised London group (SOL) includes people involved in the recent squats of the Colorama buildings in Lancaster Street and the former Holy Trinity Centre next to Archbishop's Park.

"Residents of Elephant & Castle are sick of having so-called regeneration plans imposed on them by developers, Southwark Council, and now Boris," said Emma Jennings of SOL.

"These plans for luxury flats and fancy office towers have seen local residents forced to leave the area by their own council, in the case of the Heygate Estate, and by sky-high rents.

"Gentrification and Government cuts to housing benefits are tearing our communities apart – we hope that by taking over Elieen House and returning it to the community, we can provide a space for us to come back together again and organise against Boris and for housing which meets our needs."

Oakmayne had planned to demolish Eileen House last autumn, but the building remains in situ.

• Oakmayne declined to comment on the occupation of Eileen House.

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