Illegal rave-goers trash former Woodford Green post office
PUBLISHED: 10:10 16 July 2015 | UPDATED: 10:17 16 July 2015
The owner of a former post office has said he will not clean up the mess left after all-night ravers trashed the property.
Squatters took over the derelict building in Johnston Road, Woodford Green, and held a rave for “more than 1,000” people earlier this month.
Owner Gerry McDowell, 64, says the building was left covered in graffiti, with smashed toilets and missing copper pipes.
“It’s atrocious. They have completely wrecked the building,” said Gerry.
“I’m not going to clean it up for another lot of squatters to come and ruin it again.”
He said the former delivery office, which closed in September last year, had housed squatters in January, but the building had not been subject to damage on the scale of the latest incident.
Police confirmed being called to the property after receiving reports from residents of loud music at 11pm on July 4.
The building was secured on July 8 to prevent further entry. No arrests have been made.
“This lot even stole lead off the roof,” said Gerry, who has owned the building for 29 years.
“It’s just not habitable anymore – they’ve smashed toilets, windows and doors – they’ve even damaged the door hinges.”
He added: “It’s been a delivery office for more than 100 years and it’s sad that a building like this is being abused in this way.”
Gerry is hoping that Redbridge Council approves his new plan to turn the site into a three storey block of nine flats and a ground floor commercial unit after initial plans were refused.
He said: “The incident has got to help our application.”
The original plans were refused on grounds of it being in the Woodford Green conservation area and its appearance being “intrusive”.
Other reasons for refusal included a ground floor flat being too small and the “lack of safe and functional arrangements for pedestrian access into the site”.
“We’re just waiting on Redbridge Council to pass the planning application ,” said Gerry.
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