5 Apr, 2017
Guildhall’s Ross Fentem made local headlines on Thursday 30 March 2017 in a disputed possession case concerning Cheltenham Road Library in Montpelier. The disused library, previously owned by the council, had been sold to developers who obtained planning permission to demolish the building and erect flats. In recent weeks the library had been occupied by members of an activist group known as Sisters Uncut, who sought to use the library as a refuge for survivors of domestic violence.
Deputy District Judge Incledon, whilst sympathetic with Sisters Uncut’s cause, was in agreement with Mr Fentem that the group were occupying the premises as trespassers. The group’s arguments that human rights issues were engaged was dismissed by the Judge and an order for possession was granted.
On Friday 31 March 2017 the library was attended by police and bailiffs and the members of Sisters Uncut were evicted. Demolition commenced the same day.