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Asylum Seekers get an early xmas present

jeff kirby | 01.12.2006 09:33 | Anti-racism | Free Spaces | Repression | Social Struggles | Sheffield

Here is a little snippet of what life is like for a destitute refugee. (see below for definition *)

3 Destitute men have been seeking shelter in some empty council flats. The council are seeking to sell the land on which the flats are built to

Arches Housing.
122 Burngreave Road
South Yorkshire
S3 9DE

Phone: 0114 228 8100
Fax: 0114 228 8150



The council began legal proceedings to regain possession of the flats (court date set for 7th of December). Arches Housing have employed Red Wall construction (Building Contractor) to demolish the flats when they are emptied. On the 28th November 2006 (according to reports via Arches Housing) Red wall construction workers found all the front doors of the occupied flats open and apparently abandoned.

I have spoken with 2 of the men who were seeking shelter in the flats and these are the facts as they relayed them to me with the help of a good interpreter.

Just after 9:00am we heard a banging at the door, we were still asleep at that time and the banging woke us up. The front door was smashed open with some sort of heavy ramming device. 5 or 6 Builders entered, they all wore builder's hard hats and florescent jackets. They said we had to get out. They started shouting loudly at us. They began to throw our possessions about, things like our small camping stove, (I asked if they would like to have their possessions back, They said yes but they think they will be all mashed up). The men then started to smash the glass in the windows, the broken glass covered me (said one of the men) as I was still laying down in my bed. Then one of the men grabbed my arm and started to pull me towards the door. We were told to take our personal possessions out of the flat. I took some things but couldn't carry all I wanted to take.

I asked the men if they wanted to make a complaint to the authorities, but they said they were too scared that they might come for them again. They suggested taking people to the flats and they could see for themselves what had happened.

In the weeks leading up to this attack employees of Red Wall construction had already broken into one of the occupied flats and claimed it was a mistake. Also they were seen tampering with the water stop cocks to the flats, shortly after that the water pressure dropped and then the supply stopped altogether as the council workers shut off the main pipe as it had been damaged. After petitions to the council the water was reconnected. They have also been at least 3 visits to the flats by employees of Red wall construction demanding that they vacate the flats.

Yes you would be right to say this is illegal behaviour, but then again who cares?

What can I do? Not sure at the moment, but if you email your response I will see if it's worth forwarding them onto some one in Sheffield council. We are seeking an intermediary party to gain the possessions of the destitute men and items well wishers had given them. We feel an intermediary is necessary as two men who went to enquired on the Red wall building site about what had happened were told to "Fuck off of my site" by one of the Red wall workmen. An angry mob of men then proceeded to chased them away off site.

Many Thanks

Jeff Kirby

* Destitute Asylum seekers are people who have no recourse to government benefits or support from the home office (NAS). They are not permitted to work and some have been jailed for doing so.

Some are awaiting deportation but because of the complexities of their case they can't be deported. Some come from countries that are deemed "unsafe" by the home office and can't be returned. Some have legal cases ongoing and in theory should get support but presently many are being refused this.


jeff kirby
- e-mail: jeffkirby


More Info..

01.12.2006 09:52

You might like to contact

Arches Housing Ltd is a member of the National Housing Federation,

The Federation of Black Housing Organisations

and the Synergy Group of Housing Associations

Town Hall,
S1 2HH
(0114) 272 6444

More Info..

Contact Redwall Developments

01.12.2006 11:54

You can contact redwall developments directly here

and let them know what you think about this.


Advisory Service for Squatters

01.12.2006 13:02

Have you tried the Advisory Service for Squatters. They're quite knowledgeable about things like this. Try

Or try Shelter, a charity dealing with accommodation issues. Don't know if this is quite their thing but they may be able to advise.

- Homepage:

Redwall Developments history of riding roughshod over community wishes

01.12.2006 15:44

Redwall have a history of ignoring the wishes of the communities they work in.


"Redwall, have already begun to clear the site, although they don’t have planning permission to begin construction."

“The developers own all the land at the top of Smithies Field, but they have only put in an application to
build on 90 metres of about a 350 metre stretch, and yet they are clearing the whole site.They seem to
be trying to bounce the Council into a decision when the rest of the site comes up for planning permission, by
clearing it and environmentally degrading it now.”

"I asked Mr Higginbottom if he realised local residents were unhappy about the clearance and would he consider stopping. He said he knew residents weren’t happy because his digger had been sabotaged, but Redwall owned the site and they were entitled to do what they liked with it."


"Natural disaster
Grimesthorpe residents have continued to be frustrated and angered by the actions of Redwall developers on Grimesthorpe Road. The stretch of attractive woodland that once lined the road has been cleared."


"Grimesthorpe inquiry
Outline planning applications to build houses on the north side of Smithies Field, next to Grimesthorpe Road, were refused by the Council last November, because the Council considers this land to be a greenfield site, partly open space and having trees on it which are subject to tree preservation orders (see
Messengers for September, October and November 2OO5). The Council argues that there are plenty of unused brownfield (previously built on) sites in Sheffield, and that this area is visually attractive.


Redwall argue that new housing is needed in Sheffield for single people. They argue that this site, although it was very overgrown (or was until they cleared it), used to have buildings on it. Not all the land is affected by tree preservation orders.

Local resident Pat Eckhart argues that the very dense development proposed for the east area is inappropriate, because of the lack of local facilities. Grimesthorpe Road
is bordered by mature trees which make it seem like a pleasant country lane."

Why are supposedly representative community organisations like Arches Housing, and Sheffield Council, employing these thugs!

messenger reader