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Residents’ fears over former garage site in Lawrence Street, York
CONCERNED residents near a garage being used by squatters are to meet police and council officials to discuss their fears.
The meeting will centre on the former Citroen garage and Bubbles car wash site in Lawrence Street, York, which has fallen into disrepair and been occupied by squatters in recent months.
Residents and businesses have complained about the damage at the garage, antisocial behaviour and a string of emergency service call-outs to the site.
In March, Stephen Eastwood, 45, was left in a coma with serious head injuries, after an attack outside the premises and most recently, emergency services were called and firefighters had to rescue a man when a fire was started deliberately on Monday night.
The building was believed to have been fairly badly damaged by the fire which started on the first floor but burned through the floor, causing debris to fall into the ground floor, a fire service spokesman said.
A local resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I believe there were three people inside at the time – police sent one of them on his way.
“When inquiries from local residents were made to police they were told that even if police removed them they would more than likely return in an hour as they have nowhere else to go.
“They also said there was no intention to secure the building against further occupation.”
However, a police spokesman said the situation had been complicated as the owner of the property is based overseas, making it difficult to put legal measures in place to evict the people in the building.
They said there would be a visible police presence in the area.
Paul Marshall, of the Waggon & Horses, said the meeting, which is due to include police and council representatives, will be held at the pub at 8pm on Tuesday.
The police spokesman said anyone witnessing trouble at the property should phone 101.
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