The London borough of Lambeth yesterday won an eviction order against 18 people and others it was not able to identify who have been living in the Bullring and Undercroft below Waterloo Bridge.
Shaun Tomlinson, 30, a resident of the Bullring for 10 years, said it would be difficult for some people to move into homes of their own after up to 15 years sleeping rough, without huge amounts of support. For him, the decision means the loss of his job as well as his home, as he's the only registered seller of the Big Issue magazine for the homeless in that area.
A Lambeth Council spokeswoman said the council hoped that the homeless people would now realise that the borough was serious about regenerating the area. Part of it has already been cleared to make way for the British Film Institute pounds 20m giant screen cinema and the council now hopes to press ahead with its rejuvenation of the area.
Fourteen rough sleepers have already been rehoused or are about to be rehoused, the council spokeswoman said, and the remainder would be given 28 days before the possession order was enforced.