Squatters return to derelict Bournemouth house days after life-threatening fire started by candles

Bournemouth Echo: Squatters return to derelict Bournemouth house days after life-threatening fire started by candles Squatters return to derelict Bournemouth house days after life-threatening fire started by candles

SQUATTERS have returned to a Bournemouth property, just days after it was gutted by a life- threatening fire.

A number of people are staying in a conservatory attached to the house in Wellington Road. The house was the scene of a blaze that has left three people in hospital with serious burns at 1.45pm on Sunday.

One of the women sleeping in the property said: “I’ve been with my partner now for four years, but the council and social services won’t let us live in the same house.

“That’s why we come back here. I know it looks bad, but it’s ok.”

Blankets and sleeping bags have been hung from the ceiling of the extension to try and keep those staying there warm.

Around 12 rough sleepers are believed to have been staying in the property, or in tents outside, just before the fire.

One man, who has not been named, is reported to have suffered 60 per cent burns in the blaze.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “It can get so cold here, but for three years, it was our home.

“We’ve lost our home.”

Investigators have concluded there were no suspicious circumstances, and the fire seems to have been caused accidentally as squatters used candles to try and keep warm.

Although the house is blocked from the road by a solid wooden gate, put in place before the incident, those using the property have found access through another entrance.

The property has not been boarded up. Ward councillor David Kelsey said there is little the council can do, as the house is privately owned.

“It is a very big problem,” he said.

“We are aware of the issues there, and we have tried to get the owners to do something about it, but it has been a very slow process indeed.”

Rough sleepers have been using the house as shelter for some years, neighbours have confirmed.

Cllr Kelsey said: “Of course, we understand that people need somewhere to sleep.

“But essentially, they are trespassing. They shouldn’t be there. We have real issues in terms of what we can actually do about it as a council.”

Comments (15)

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8:52am Wed 4 Dec 13

politicaltrainspotter says...

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “It can get so cold here, but for three years, it was our home.

And Councillor Kelsey says We are aware of the issues there, and we have tried to get the owners to do something about it, but it has been a very slow process indeed.”

Slow process ! What three years! As it's privately owned then the local authority has no authority then ? When did the council sit in the political dental chair and have it's teeth pulled out.

If this property has been a headache then prepare for a migraine as if the large property up the road stands there as long as this one then the issues will be displaced further along the road and already someone has tried to gain access.

So they maybe trespassing.Not exactly crime of the century and to do any enforcement would not bother these people as they have nothing.

The building is dangerous and should be pulled down and the council should be focusing on what the plans are for the large house down the road or is this another three year saga?
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “It can get so cold here, but for three years, it was our home. And Councillor Kelsey says We are aware of the issues there, and we have tried to get the owners to do something about it, but it has been a very slow process indeed.” Slow process ! What three years! As it's privately owned then the local authority has no authority then ? When did the council sit in the political dental chair and have it's teeth pulled out. If this property has been a headache then prepare for a migraine as if the large property up the road stands there as long as this one then the issues will be displaced further along the road and already someone has tried to gain access. So they maybe trespassing.Not exactly crime of the century and to do any enforcement would not bother these people as they have nothing. The building is dangerous and should be pulled down and the council should be focusing on what the plans are for the large house down the road or is this another three year saga? politicaltrainspotter

9:10am Wed 4 Dec 13

Townee says...

Perhaps the council should try and make sure this place is now safe and leave these people in peace. The owner doesn't seem to want to do anything and they need somewhere to sleep and if it's here then the police and authorities will know where to find them. It's nearly Christmas so let them stay but make sure they are safe, perhaps fix battery lights so they can see.
If the council don't want to help these type of people perhaps locals would help keep them safe.
Perhaps the council should try and make sure this place is now safe and leave these people in peace. The owner doesn't seem to want to do anything and they need somewhere to sleep and if it's here then the police and authorities will know where to find them. It's nearly Christmas so let them stay but make sure they are safe, perhaps fix battery lights so they can see. If the council don't want to help these type of people perhaps locals would help keep them safe. Townee

9:37am Wed 4 Dec 13

nickynoodah says...

Put some hot water on for them
they will be happy for a bath
not all squatters are no bath louts you know.
Put some hot water on for them they will be happy for a bath not all squatters are no bath louts you know. nickynoodah

9:38am Wed 4 Dec 13

MCAME1989 says...

The owner doesn't seem bothered that they are there...of he/she was then it wouldn't have gone on for 3 years!
They need somewhere to go and if the council won't help them then let them help themselves!
Yes they have put a few people in hospital but that is the risk they take everyday sleeping rough!
The owner doesn't seem bothered that they are there...of he/she was then it wouldn't have gone on for 3 years! They need somewhere to go and if the council won't help them then let them help themselves! Yes they have put a few people in hospital but that is the risk they take everyday sleeping rough! MCAME1989

10:05am Wed 4 Dec 13

speedy231278 says...

They are trespassing. Why have they not been arrested rather than interviewed for a substandard newspaper? Is it because they have no money to be fined?
They are trespassing. Why have they not been arrested rather than interviewed for a substandard newspaper? Is it because they have no money to be fined? speedy231278

10:26am Wed 4 Dec 13

TheDistrict says...

The council should take control of the house by making it safe, thus allowing the squatters to become Council Tenants, which in turn will/should give the council some return on Council Tax (not being received at this time), taken from the new tenants benefits, which having an address they will be permitted to claim. There is always the off chance that the new tenants may look after this property. Better than it is now.

If not, a compulsory purchase order, and sell it on Homes Under the Hammer.
The council should take control of the house by making it safe, thus allowing the squatters to become Council Tenants, which in turn will/should give the council some return on Council Tax (not being received at this time), taken from the new tenants benefits, which having an address they will be permitted to claim. There is always the off chance that the new tenants may look after this property. Better than it is now. If not, a compulsory purchase order, and sell it on Homes Under the Hammer. TheDistrict

10:38am Wed 4 Dec 13

Redgolfer says...

Townee wrote:
Perhaps the council should try and make sure this place is now safe and leave these people in peace. The owner doesn't seem to want to do anything and they need somewhere to sleep and if it's here then the police and authorities will know where to find them. It's nearly Christmas so let them stay but make sure they are safe, perhaps fix battery lights so they can see.
If the council don't want to help these type of people perhaps locals would help keep them safe.
WHY ???
[quote][p][bold]Townee[/bold] wrote: Perhaps the council should try and make sure this place is now safe and leave these people in peace. The owner doesn't seem to want to do anything and they need somewhere to sleep and if it's here then the police and authorities will know where to find them. It's nearly Christmas so let them stay but make sure they are safe, perhaps fix battery lights so they can see. If the council don't want to help these type of people perhaps locals would help keep them safe.[/p][/quote]WHY ??? Redgolfer

10:43am Wed 4 Dec 13

speedy231278 says...

MCAME1989 wrote:
The owner doesn't seem bothered that they are there...of he/she was then it wouldn't have gone on for 3 years!
They need somewhere to go and if the council won't help them then let them help themselves!
Yes they have put a few people in hospital but that is the risk they take everyday sleeping rough!
Great, so it is fine for them to break the law, destroy property and put people in hospital just because they claim to be homeless. Then we discover one of these illegal occupiers actually has a home on the welfare state, but chooses not to occupy it because they won't let her partner share it. And she hasn't lost 'her home', she has helped destroy someone else's property.

The solution is very simple. If the actual owner of the property will not take actions to stop these selfish idiots harming themselves and others by attempting to live in it, then the council should give notice of their intention to demolish it as unsafe. If the owner does not respond in good time, it should be flattened as a clear health hazard.
[quote][p][bold]MCAME1989[/bold] wrote: The owner doesn't seem bothered that they are there...of he/she was then it wouldn't have gone on for 3 years! They need somewhere to go and if the council won't help them then let them help themselves! Yes they have put a few people in hospital but that is the risk they take everyday sleeping rough![/p][/quote]Great, so it is fine for them to break the law, destroy property and put people in hospital just because they claim to be homeless. Then we discover one of these illegal occupiers actually has a home on the welfare state, but chooses not to occupy it because they won't let her partner share it. And she hasn't lost 'her home', she has helped destroy someone else's property. The solution is very simple. If the actual owner of the property will not take actions to stop these selfish idiots harming themselves and others by attempting to live in it, then the council should give notice of their intention to demolish it as unsafe. If the owner does not respond in good time, it should be flattened as a clear health hazard. speedy231278

11:03am Wed 4 Dec 13

nickynoodah says...

Its called survival George


living in a squat
living in a tent
better than a warden controlled damp bed sit
no rent
Its called survival George living in a squat living in a tent better than a warden controlled damp bed sit no rent nickynoodah

11:42am Wed 4 Dec 13

BmthNewshound says...

Cllr Kelsey said: “Of course, we understand that people need somewhere to sleep"
.
Do you really understand or is it that rough sleepers are a problem you'd rather just ignore ?. Beesley has made little secret of the fact that he'd like to see the back of rough sleepers and has made it tougher for people to get access to hostel places.
.
Truth is helping the homeless doesn't politically or financially benefit Beesley or his property developer mates and isn't an issue that wins votes.
.
There are huge holes appearing in Bournemouth's thin veneer of middle class respectability and the image the Council like to portray. Poverty in Bournemouth is a real issue and until local politicians and the public wake up to this fact no amount of window dressing will be able to hide the towns decline.
Cllr Kelsey said: “Of course, we understand that people need somewhere to sleep" . Do you really understand or is it that rough sleepers are a problem you'd rather just ignore ?. Beesley has made little secret of the fact that he'd like to see the back of rough sleepers and has made it tougher for people to get access to hostel places. . Truth is helping the homeless doesn't politically or financially benefit Beesley or his property developer mates and isn't an issue that wins votes. . There are huge holes appearing in Bournemouth's thin veneer of middle class respectability and the image the Council like to portray. Poverty in Bournemouth is a real issue and until local politicians and the public wake up to this fact no amount of window dressing will be able to hide the towns decline. BmthNewshound

1:12pm Wed 4 Dec 13

MCAME1989 says...

speedy231278 wrote:
MCAME1989 wrote: The owner doesn't seem bothered that they are there...of he/she was then it wouldn't have gone on for 3 years! They need somewhere to go and if the council won't help them then let them help themselves! Yes they have put a few people in hospital but that is the risk they take everyday sleeping rough!
Great, so it is fine for them to break the law, destroy property and put people in hospital just because they claim to be homeless. Then we discover one of these illegal occupiers actually has a home on the welfare state, but chooses not to occupy it because they won't let her partner share it. And she hasn't lost 'her home', she has helped destroy someone else's property. The solution is very simple. If the actual owner of the property will not take actions to stop these selfish idiots harming themselves and others by attempting to live in it, then the council should give notice of their intention to demolish it as unsafe. If the owner does not respond in good time, it should be flattened as a clear health hazard.
Take it you have never known or been a rough sleeper then?
[quote][p][bold]speedy231278[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MCAME1989[/bold] wrote: The owner doesn't seem bothered that they are there...of he/she was then it wouldn't have gone on for 3 years! They need somewhere to go and if the council won't help them then let them help themselves! Yes they have put a few people in hospital but that is the risk they take everyday sleeping rough![/p][/quote]Great, so it is fine for them to break the law, destroy property and put people in hospital just because they claim to be homeless. Then we discover one of these illegal occupiers actually has a home on the welfare state, but chooses not to occupy it because they won't let her partner share it. And she hasn't lost 'her home', she has helped destroy someone else's property. The solution is very simple. If the actual owner of the property will not take actions to stop these selfish idiots harming themselves and others by attempting to live in it, then the council should give notice of their intention to demolish it as unsafe. If the owner does not respond in good time, it should be flattened as a clear health hazard.[/p][/quote]Take it you have never known or been a rough sleeper then? MCAME1989

1:36pm Wed 4 Dec 13

seaviews says...

The council could do a compulsory purchase. Then put the house on the market and sell it to a developer. It amazes me that criminals (people that break into houses) are not prosecuted!
The council could do a compulsory purchase. Then put the house on the market and sell it to a developer. It amazes me that criminals (people that break into houses) are not prosecuted! seaviews

2:53pm Wed 4 Dec 13

speedy231278 says...

MCAME1989 wrote:
speedy231278 wrote:
MCAME1989 wrote: The owner doesn't seem bothered that they are there...of he/she was then it wouldn't have gone on for 3 years! They need somewhere to go and if the council won't help them then let them help themselves! Yes they have put a few people in hospital but that is the risk they take everyday sleeping rough!
Great, so it is fine for them to break the law, destroy property and put people in hospital just because they claim to be homeless. Then we discover one of these illegal occupiers actually has a home on the welfare state, but chooses not to occupy it because they won't let her partner share it. And she hasn't lost 'her home', she has helped destroy someone else's property. The solution is very simple. If the actual owner of the property will not take actions to stop these selfish idiots harming themselves and others by attempting to live in it, then the council should give notice of their intention to demolish it as unsafe. If the owner does not respond in good time, it should be flattened as a clear health hazard.
Take it you have never known or been a rough sleeper then?
What difference does that make to breaking the law?

"I'm sorry I destroyed your house, but I'm homeless" (by choice, in the case of this woman by her own admission).
[quote][p][bold]MCAME1989[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]speedy231278[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MCAME1989[/bold] wrote: The owner doesn't seem bothered that they are there...of he/she was then it wouldn't have gone on for 3 years! They need somewhere to go and if the council won't help them then let them help themselves! Yes they have put a few people in hospital but that is the risk they take everyday sleeping rough![/p][/quote]Great, so it is fine for them to break the law, destroy property and put people in hospital just because they claim to be homeless. Then we discover one of these illegal occupiers actually has a home on the welfare state, but chooses not to occupy it because they won't let her partner share it. And she hasn't lost 'her home', she has helped destroy someone else's property. The solution is very simple. If the actual owner of the property will not take actions to stop these selfish idiots harming themselves and others by attempting to live in it, then the council should give notice of their intention to demolish it as unsafe. If the owner does not respond in good time, it should be flattened as a clear health hazard.[/p][/quote]Take it you have never known or been a rough sleeper then?[/p][/quote]What difference does that make to breaking the law? "I'm sorry I destroyed your house, but I'm homeless" (by choice, in the case of this woman by her own admission). speedy231278

2:55pm Wed 4 Dec 13

speedy231278 says...

seaviews wrote:
The council could do a compulsory purchase. Then put the house on the market and sell it to a developer. It amazes me that criminals (people that break into houses) are not prosecuted!
We have not been told if the council has even tried to contact the owner, nor even find out who they are. surely if it has been derelict and squatted in for several years, then the owner should be made responsible? After all, they're quite happy to be harrassing that bloke with cars in his garden that allegedly are a health hazard. I assume homeless trespassers destroying property is not?
[quote][p][bold]seaviews[/bold] wrote: The council could do a compulsory purchase. Then put the house on the market and sell it to a developer. It amazes me that criminals (people that break into houses) are not prosecuted![/p][/quote]We have not been told if the council has even tried to contact the owner, nor even find out who they are. surely if it has been derelict and squatted in for several years, then the owner should be made responsible? After all, they're quite happy to be harrassing that bloke with cars in his garden that allegedly are a health hazard. I assume homeless trespassers destroying property is not? speedy231278

4:25pm Wed 4 Dec 13

topofall says...

Councils were given the powers to seize properties like this a few years back but I have never heard of our useless councils using them!
Councils were given the powers to seize properties like this a few years back but I have never heard of our useless councils using them! topofall

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