Squatters move into Duke of Westminster's £30million Park Lane mansions

Mark mark at tlio.org.uk
Thu Jan 22 21:07:38 GMT 2009

Squatters take over millionaire mansions

By Matt Dickinson, Press Association
The Independent
Thursday, 22 January 2009

Squatters are holed up in two £15 million-rated mansions on one of the
country's most exclusive roads, it was reported today.

According to The Sun, around 20 "hippies" have set up home in the
seven-storey properties in London's Park Lane, famous for its super-rich
residents, luxury car dealers and hotels.

The group told the paper they spent their time strumming guitars, creating
artworks and taking their dogs for walks in Hyde Park opposite.

One of the squatters, called Martin, said: "The view at Sunset over Hyde
Park is just magic - especially from the penthouse. I really love it

Another, 21-year-old Meg, added: "It's much better when squatters move
into a rich person's home like this, as the owner can obviously afford to
have us here."

The squatters claim the properties - thought to be owned by the Duke of
Westminster - have stood empty for about two years.

Martin, 27 and from South Africa, told The Sun: "There's quite a large
squatters community in London and we always pass on information. We'd
noticed these houses had been empty for about two years. We got in through
an open basement door."

Squatting is not illegal if entry is not forced and no criminal damage is
caused to the premises.

According to the paper, the properties are number 94 and 95 Park Lane.
Pictures show they are unfurnished save for some basics.

Just a short stroll away are some of Park Lane's exclusive addresses -
including an Aston Martin dealership, the Dorchester Hotel and celebrity
haunt and restaurant Nobu.

Ian Brimhurst, a member of The Westminster Homeowners' Association, told
The Sun that the squatters were "blighting" the area.

The Duke of Westminster's spokesman declined to comment, the paper added.

Thanks to Chris B for the following whch he posted on Indymedia this evening:
But how did the Duke come to own all this prime real estate, and his
resulting £7 billion fortune? Well, the story starts in 1066 when a
grateful William the Conqueror grants estates (which now comprise much of
the Present Dukes' estate) in London to Geoffrey de Mandeville, for
services rendered. Between then and the late 17th Century it passed
through many hands, until Sir Thomas Grosvenor, an ancestor of the current
Duke married the heiress Mary Davies in 1677. As London grew it was
developed into the fashionable areas of Mayfair and Belgravia. So in a
phrase, the current Duke did sweet fuck all to obtain his property and
his fortune. Which must make him (to use a favourite "Daily Mail"
phrase) the king of all "freeloaders", not to mention the daddy of all
trustafarians. In fact, you could say that his fortune is based on
pedophilia since Mary Davies was only 12 years old when Sir Thomas
married her! Source: https://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/01/419807.html

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