Russell Brand leads housing estate sleepover on north London Sweets Way estate to protest 'profit over people'

150 people turned out to the north London housing estate

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The Independent Online

Russell Brand staged a sleepover at a housing estate to protest the homes being sold off to developers.

The event drew a crowd of 150 to the Sweets Way estate in Barnet this week.

Comedian-turned-activist Brand has been a loud voice for the estate and has backed a petition in which the residents are "pleading with the council not to push them from their homes". It has now been signed by over 40,000 people.

The tenants were evicted on Tuesday night in order to make way for a housing redevelopment - which is when Brand staged the sleepover.

Owner Annington Homes has cleared the tenants out in order to make way for 288 new homes, although it's thought around 10 families remain on the estate.

Squatters have occupied several of the homes, which have been boarded shut, and Brand has accused Annington Homes of putting "profit before people".


Despite conceding that for many it was "bloody miles away", Brand promised "a fun night of coming together to protect the Sweets Way Estate" and said he's be there in a sleeping bag along with former residents.

Annington Homes has responded to the protest, maintaining that the evictions will ultimately lead to more homes. "Annington very much supports the argument for more homes, both in London and elsewhere, although there is a need for development to achieve this," a spokesperson said.

"It is regrettable when homes need to be demolished, but Annington’s decision to redevelop the estate will see an increase in the number of homes by more than 100%, from 142 to 288, and the inclusion of 20% affordable homes will see a minimum of 59 created where there were none before.

"Annington has commenced court proceedings to obtain a possession order so that it can evict the squatters and take back possession of the property."