Office block in Royal Leamington Spa faces demolition after dozens of travellers broke in and formed a ‘production line’ to strip the 46,000 square foot building entirely of metal
- More than 20 caravans allegedly moved onto the grounds of Sovereign House
- Within hours the 46,000 square foot building was taken over by the travellers
- Witnesses said they saw gangs of men forming a ‘production line’
An office block in a posh Regency town may be demolished after dozens of travellers broke in and stripped the entire building of metal.
More than 20 caravans were said to have moved onto the grounds of Sovereign House, in Royal Leamington Spa, Warks., last weekend.
Police were powerless to remove them but within hours the 46,000 square foot building was taken over by the travellers, according to its owners.
Sovereign House office spaces had been unoccupied since last September. The owners claim they may now have to demolish the building because of damage they say travellers caused
Witnesses said they saw gangs of men forming a ‘production line’ as metal was systematically stripped from the ceilings and walls which could be sold for scrap.
Yobs also smashed windows and human faeces was found smeared on the walls and floors.
The travellers left the site on Monday but were said to have left a trail of destruction behind them.
Among the damage allegedly caused by travellers was several broken windows and rubbish strewn across the space outside the office block
Black bin liners, discarded paper and food packaging was among the litter thrown outside
The owners of the building, which has been unoccupied since last September, say it may now have to be demolished.
A spokesperson for the owner said: ‘It’s almost as if they did it maliciously like they had something against us.
‘About half of the building needs a new roof and the other half could need to be demolished.
‘It’s absolutely disgusting and if you went in there you wouldn’t believe what’s been done.
Protective fencing – which had warnings pinned onto it – appears to have been felled at the site
‘The smell is awful too.
‘There needs to be a more concentrated effort for something to be done to stop this kind of thing happening again.
‘The police and district council need to start baring their teeth.
‘There needs to be more sites for travellers across the country so they can no longer claim they have nowhere to go.’
Business owners nearby described seeing gangs of travellers forming a ‘production line’ as they stripped the building of metal and materials.
The travellers have caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage, according to the office block owners. Pictured is a disused duvet that has been thrown beside broken glass
One said: ‘It was chilling. They were so organised.
‘At first we saw the caravans rock up and thought they might be there for a day or two but then you could see trucks being filled with metal.
‘At one stage the men even formed a production line, passing metal strips to each other while the kids just went wild inside smashing windows and the lot.
Littering and vandalism of the property have left it in a sorry state and facing demolition
Several windows appear to have been broken, leaving shards of glass all over the site
‘It’s a worry because the landlord is pretty powerless to act. The laws on cracking down on travellers definitely needs to change so the owner of the building has more power.
‘I would very much like to see trespassing become a criminal offence.
‘I’ve got a pal in the police force who says the same thing but until the politicians act, the gypsies and travellers have all the power.’
Trespassing is currently a civil matter but Home Secretary Sajid Javid is considering making it a criminal offence.
Pictured: one of many broken windows. Owners also said faeces was smeared on the walls
The glass on the ceiling and metal perimeters appear to have been badly damaged
Plastic bags of what appears to be faeces is hung on the branches in the bushes
As well as the apparent faeces there were large amounts of bags, cans and bottles discarded
Wooden waste including a pellet was discarded outside the fences along with heavy duty equipment