Occupy protestors who were evicted after setting up home in a £3million mansion are living the high-life once again – by squatting in a plush city centre office block.
The squatters were evicted from the grand eight-bedroom house in affluent Clifton, Bristol, after residents complained of noisy house parties and golf balls being hit from the roof.
Now 14 members of the mob have moved into the abandoned four storey office-block Bristol City centre after one of them spotted an open window in the vacant building.
Squatter Mathew, 17, said the group have been in the Grade I listed building – situated in the largest Georgian square outside of London – for two weeks after climbing scaffolding and entering through an open window.
He said: ‘We intend to stay here as long as we can. We got in through an open window two weeks ago and we will be staying for as long as possible.
‘We have secured the place and have cleared up inside. We are looking after it and keeping it secure.
‘We are trying to contact the owners and we want to reassure them that we are looking after the place.’
Matthew, from Scotland, admitted most of the occupants were young, some of whom had occupied prestigious Clifton Wood Mansion, Bristol, before they were evicted in April.
He said: ‘Most of the people living here have been kicked out by their families and have got no place to go.’
The office is located next door to Queen Square, which was originally developed in the early eighteenth century.
The 60,000 square-foot block boasts two lifts, basement car parking and changing and shower facilities and is currently awaiting commercial development.
Letting agent Alder King said that the building has been empty while prospective bidders were lined up.
A spokeswoman for the estate agents said: ‘We are aware of the situation with squatters. This is something we advised the police about to prevent it happening.’
Avon and Somerset Police say they are also aware of the squatters but that the issue is a civil matter and one for the council.
Over 50 police officers raided the squatters’ previous home in the prosperous suburb of Clifton Wood, in April, and five people were charged after bottles were thrown from the rooftop.
Some of the squatters were previously living on College Green, Bristol, as part of the ‘Occupy’ protests, but were evicted after they turned the pristine lawn into a muddy swamp.
William Bernett, a passer-by, said that he alerted the authorities to the squatters’ presence after hearing banging noises.
He said: ‘I recognised some of the squatters from Clifton.
‘As the police arrived at the scene the squatters shouted down ‘We have squatters’ rights’.’
The group occupying the listed building have left a notice outside outlining their rights.
The police said there were no issues with the current occupants and will normally only take action against squatters if they commit crimes when entering or staying in a property.