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Police at scene of Doctor Johnson pub, Barkingside taken over by squatters

12:25 13 May 2014

Police at the Doctor Johnson pub, Barkingside

Police at the Doctor Johnson pub, Barkingside

Archant

Police are at the scene of a derelict Grade II listed pub in Barkingside which squatters have taken over.

The co-ordinator of the squatters - known only as “Gee” - says the group of around “four or five” people wish to host art events at The Doctor Johnson pub in Longwood Gardens if they can strike an agreement with the building’s owner to be allowed to stay.

Speaking to the Recorder, Gee, 41, who lives near to the pub, said: “The squatters came on Sunday (11) and we swept the front of the building just to let residents know something is being done about the mess.”

Gee claims to represent a group called Suspenses Property Guardians.

It is unclear how long the building has been derelict for, but residents believe it is “at least three years”.

Business owner Sharon May, 53, who runs cafe Freshly Made, opposite the pub, called the situation “an absolute tragedy”.

She also added: “It is absolute tragedy to see such a beautiful building in such disrepair.

“Everyone in the area talks about. It is turning into a slum - it is a shame.”

Police attended the scene this morning where a security firm were also present.

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