Gordon Ramsay’s £13m London pub taken over by squatters

A group of squatters locked themselves inside the hotel and gastropub on Wednesday and have since boarded up the windows

Piers Mucklejohn
Saturday 13 April 2024 14:27 BST
Animal Rebellion activists occupy Gordon Ramsay restaurant in London

Squatters have taken over a Gordon Ramsay pub in London which is currently up for sale for £13 million.

A group of at least six squatters locked themselves inside the Grade II-listed York & Albany gastropub, which is just outside Regent’s Park, boarding up the windows and putting up a “legal warning” defending their takeover, the Sun reported.

In photographs taken before the windows had been further boarded up, a squatter could be seen sleeping on a sofa in the bar, surrounded by litter.

On Saturday morning, two masked squatters wearing black tracksuits and carrying backpacks and carrier bags exited the property, running away from reporters before they could be approached for comment.

A notice taped to a door said the group had a right to occupy the venue, which they said was not a “residential building” and was therefore not subject to 2012 legislation which had created a new offence of squatting in a home.

The piece of paper, signed by “The Occupiers”, also said: “Take notice that we occupy this property and at all times there is at least one person in occupation.

A notice on a window of the York & Albany pub near Regent's Park, London (Piers Mucklejohn/PA Wire)

“That any entry or attempt to enter into these premises without our permission is therefore a criminal offence as any one of us who is in physical possession is opposed to such entry without our permission.

“That if you attempt to enter by violence or by threatening violence we will prosecute you.

“You may receive a sentence of up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.

“If you want to get us out you will have to issue a claim for possession in the County Court or in the High Court.”

Mr Ramsay called the police on Wednesday but was unable to have the squatters removed, it is understood.

Another notice asked passers-by for “food and clothes donations or anything else you no longer want or need”.

The occupation of a person’s non-residential property without their permission is not itself a crime in the UK, athough police can take action if crimes are subsequently committed, including damaging the property or stealing from it.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Police were made aware of squatters at a disused property in Parkway, Regent’s Park, NW1 on Wednesday, 10 April.

“This is a civil matter and so police did not attend the property.”

In 2007, film director Gary Love bought the former nineteenth-century coaching inn.

He subsequently leased the property to Mr Ramsay on a 25-year term with an annual rent of £640,000.

The Kitchen Nightmares host unsuccessfully attempted to free himself from the lease in a legal battle at the High Court in 2015.

The venue went on sale at the end of last year with a guide price of £13 million.

According to government guidance, squatters can apply to become the registered owners of a property if they have occupied it continuously for 10 years, acted as owners for the whole of that time and had not previously been given permission to live there by the owner.

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