"Nightmare" squatters return to former police building in St Mark's
"NIGHTMARE" squatters have returned to a former police house opposite a Cheltenham church.
They were seen moving into numbers 32 and 34 in Church Road, near St Mark's Church, at the weekend.
And neighbours say one of the squatters was driving a BMW sports car.
They also said the squatters had been "a nightmare", playing loud music and shouting while holding all-night parties.
Traditional Shave, Facial Treatment, Whisky and a Shoe Shine -...View details
Gents, enjoy a traditional shave, facial treatment, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £31
Terms: Early and later appointments available upon request.
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
One woman, who asked not to be named, said: "They have been very disruptive.
"People come and go from the place at all times of night, and they have had all-night parties which have been really noisy. When they are there, it can be a nightmare for the rest of us." Another woman, who also wanted to be anonymous, said: "They are often outside drinking and eating, and the cans and pizza boxes pile up. The place looks a mess."
Developer New Dawn Homes has planning permission to demolish the property, which has been vacant for years, and build seven houses on the site.
Angela Hughes, the director, said she had the utilities cut off at the building after initially receiving reports of the squatters being there in summer last year.
She added that she had not received reports of them being there since. From April this year it will be a criminal offence to squat in a residential building, however the Church Road properties are currently commercial premises.
The signs the squatters placed on the doors said: "We live in this property, it is our home and we intend to stay here.
"Any entry or attempt to enter into this property without our permission is a criminal offence. If you attempt to enter by violence or by threatening violence we will prosecute you. If you want to get us out you will have to take out a summons for possession in the county court or in the High Court."
Experts at Cheltenham solicitors firm BPE say New Dawn Homes could face a long legal wrangle if the squatters are inside the property when they want to demolish the building.
It was believed they had left the properties, which are joined together, after the owner cut off the electricity, gas and water.
The squatters first moved into the building last summer.