We have just found out that our court judgement is in a list of four or five judgements that are yet decided. Our case could result in a change of human rights case law after Grow Heathrow forced the UK’s second highest court to weigh up the principle of private property (article 1, ECHR) against the right to a home (article 8, ECHR).
Although the judgement was expected by 28 February, the latest update is that the judgement could be given any time in the next few months. It’s impossible to guess exactly when that’ll be.
In the mean time, we’re asking the landowner, Imran Malik, to come back to the table to talk about our longstanding offer to buy the land. We have been formally advised by one of the UK’s leading experts in community land trusts (CLTs) on finalising the specific legal structures, processes and documents for the land to be owned by the local community. As a community land trust, it can continue to thrive and be used for the good of Sipson and the Heathrow villages, and this be secured for the long term.
Imran Malik’s legal team insisted in the Royal Courts of Justice on 15 January: “If the landowner wants to leave the land vacant, they’re entitled to.”
Threats of eviction come amid a desperate government crackdown on squatting. 24 MPs signed a parliamentary petition in January that would criminalise Grow Heathrow. It threatens to criminalise all homeless people who are forced to live in empty abandoned commercial buildings amid housing and economic crises, by making it illegal to squat commercial buildings. Recent research found that 40% of all single homeless people have depended on squatting to have a roof over their head.