Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay’s London Pub Seized by Squatters Amid £13 Million Sale

In a dramatic twist, squatters have occupied the esteemed York & Albany hotel and gastropub, owned by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, currently listed for sale at a whopping £13 million. Located near the scenic Regent’s Park, the historic establishment has become the unexpected home to a group of trespassers who have fortified their position with legal warnings and physical barriers.

A cadre of at least six individuals has commandeered the Grade II-listed property, bolting themselves inside and barricading the windows, as per reports from the Sun. Visuals captured prior to further fortifications reveal a desolate scene within the pub, with one squatter observed asleep amidst a disarray of refuse.

Emerging details on a recent Saturday showed two incognito squatters, clad in black and laden with bags, hastily vacating the premises, eluding interaction with the press. They left behind a notice firmly stating their purported legal right to occupy the non-residential building, citing exemption from the 2012 anti-squatting legislation aimed at residential properties.

The notice, signed “The Occupiers,” sternly warns against unauthorized entry, threatening legal action and potential imprisonment or fines for those attempting forced entry. To legally dislodge the squatters, the notice advises that a formal possession claim would be necessary through judicial avenues.

Despite immediate police notification by Ramsay on a Wednesday, the legal framework rendered the authorities unable to eject the unwelcome guests, as squatting in non-residential buildings remains a civil, not criminal, issue in the UK. Additional signage on the property has made an appeal to public charity, soliciting donations of food and clothing from passersby.

The building’s backstory adds layers to its current predicament. Acquired in 2007 by filmmaker Gary Love, the historical coaching inn was leased to Ramsay under a 25-year agreement, which the famed chef later contested in a 2015 High Court dispute, albeit unsuccessfully.

With the property’s market listing at the end of the previous year, the squatting has introduced new complications. Under UK law, squatters might claim ownership rights if they possess and treat the property as their own for a decade without the owner’s consent. This unfolding saga adds a complex chapter to the pub’s storied existence, weaving in legal nuances and Ramsay’s high-profile stature into a captivating narrative ripe for global readership.

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