Squatters quit luxury mansion

SQUATTERS have quit a luxury £1.1million mansion before bailiffs moved into evict them - leaving a cheeky note saying how much they had enjoyed living there.

SQUATTERS have quit a luxury £1.1million mansion before bailiffs moved into evict them - leaving a cheeky note saying how much they had enjoyed living there.

The youngsters arrived at the stunning seven bedroom 1860s Victorian property Broad Oak, in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, about two-and-a-half weeks ago.

Yesterday court officials, police officers with a locksmith and cleaners drove down the sweeping gravelled drive to regain possession of the residence, but found the squatters had already left.

And they had left a cheeky note that read: “To the home owner. We are sorry about any damage and we are grateful for time we spent here, this is a phat (fantastic?) house and we will never 4get living here even though it was only for a couple of weeks. Thank you. Squat Life.”

The group of between six to ten youngsters, who are almost all from Stowmarket, had even appeared to have bagged up most of their empty alcoholic bottles, cans and rubbish and put them out near the bins before leaving, possibly less than an hour before officials arrived.

Inside the property there was little sign of any damage, with some clothes and a mobile phone charger left behind as if they had vacated in a hurry.

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Retired Raymond Zala, who lives next door, said he was very relieved that the squat was over and is keen to see the empty building now sold on to a new family.

Mr Zala said he had chatted with one of the squatters who had seemed decent and open enough, but said that the law needed to be changed.

He said: “It is wrong that people can trespass on another person's property and the police should be able to enforce the law, which is currently defective.

“I am very anxious that we can now have some decent neighbours in. It is a bit of a worry being a neighbour to an unoccupied house, there is always the threat that someone will get in and be a nuisance to neighbours. I am very grateful, thankful and relieved that this is at an end.”

John Matthissen, a Green mid Suffolk district councillor who lives in the village, said: “I am so pleased that there is little damage and the rubbish had been bagged up, the fear was that there would be some damage.

“A place like this standing empty is always going to be a concern, and with the market the way it is it is going to be more common place unfortunately.”

Until 1936 the property formed part of the Finborough Hall Estate and the magnificent residence boasts four floors.

It has five reception rooms, a large family kitchen, service accommodation, seven bedrooms and a cellar, period rooms with high ceilings and large windows, a 20 foot sun room and en-suite facilities.