Social cleansing: London housing activists clash with bailiffs

Bailiffs moved on to the Sweets Way estate in north London this morning in what has been described as a 'mass eviction'.

The group Sweets Way Resists have been campaigning against the sell-off of social housing on the estate in Barnet, which is due to be replaced with over 200 houses and flats, just 59 of which are set to be "affordable".

The campaigners are occupying around 50 of the now empty homes in what they say is a show of solidarity with the families who have been evicted.

One of the properties which is known as the 'Community House' has been used as a hub for former residents and campaigners.

The group say they will continue their fight even if they are evicted.

"What we are facing is the hard edge of social cleansing. We remind everyone in London and beyond who are facing other battles in the fight for homes and communities that we stand together," they added.

Pictures provided by the activists appear to show large numbers of bailiffs entering the estate and erecting a fence around the area. The group says around 10 emergency vehicles including police vans and fire engines are also in attendance and that there has been one arrest so far.

Barnet Homes who manage properties for Barnet council, say two high court writs of possession have been issued for enforcement officers to clear the occupation of the estate.

In a statement they said: "All tenants who moved into Sweets Way were made aware that the site was being used for temporary accommodation before it was to be developed by the owners of the site, Annington Property Limited, and that their tenancy would end in 2015. Barnet Homes, along with Annington and Notting Hill Housing who leased the properties from Annington, has been communicating with residents for many months about the lease coming to an end."