High court enforcement officers armed with sledgehammers and battering rams battled to evict more than 100 people from the Sweets Way housing estate in north London so that a developer controlled by the private equity baron Guy Hands can redevelop the site.
There were violent clashes between court officers, police and protesters as a judge ordered the repossession of the home of the last tenant living on the former Ministry of Defence housing site in Whetstone. The action left a disabled father of four, Mostafa Aliverdipour, facing eviction. Late on Wednesday, protesters erected barricades around his house.
Hossein Aliverdipour, 21, Mostafa’s son, said the Barnet council’s housing arm would not offer a replacement home suitable for his father’s disability. “He is a full-time wheelchair user and the doors aren’t wide enough for it. It is a three-storey house and there is no downstairs bathroom for him,” he said. “If they can do this to a disabled man, imagine what they can do to a normal family.” Mostafa Aliverdipour’s case is expected to be heard in court on Wednesday afternoon.
The confrontations came six months after the estate was occupied by housing activists protesting against the eviction of several families, many of whom had been homeless. Annington Homes plans to build 282 properties on the site, 80% of which will be for private sale. The dispute over the future of the properties came to national attention when Russell Brand joined a protest sleepover at the occupied homes. Sweets Way has since become a focus for national campaigners concerned over the lack of affordable housing.