Battersea Park charity calls on playground squatters to go
By JulieGK | Tuesday, January 08, 2013, 21:17
The Friends of Battersea Park is backing the town hall to get rid of squatters from the park's adventure playground.
The charity's intervention follows calls earlier today (Tuesday) from the town hall for the squatters to leave immediately.
Their arrival in the park has forced the council to close a number of adjacent children's play facilities, including the neighbouring one o'clock centre.
They do not have any sanitary arrangements in place and have also lit fires in the playground rendering it unsafe for children.
The chairman of the Friends of Battersea Park Frances Radcliffe has now issued a statement on behalf of local park users.
It reads: "The Friends of Battersea Park do not support the occupation of the adventure playground which has led to the closure of the one o'clock club and the children's playground.
"It also puts at risk the opening of the new adventure playground in time for the Easter holidays. We understand that the council are looking at organised activities at busy periods in the adventure playground and we await the outcome."
The council is now taking legal action to remove the squatters from the site so that services for local residents can resume and a widescale programme of improvements at the playground can get underway. Last year the council unveiled plans to invest £200,000 in new play facilities at the site following extensive public consultation.
The squatters who are occupying the playground are part of the same group that occupied the square outside St Paul's Cathedral last year.
They are not from the local area. According to local media reports they come from places like Walthamstow and Hackney while one is also said to have travelled to Battersea from Leicester.