HC Deb 13 December 1999 vol 341 cc121-3

10 pm

Mr. Jonathan Sayeed (Mid-Bedfordshire)

The background to the petition is the anti-social activities of an organisation known as the Exodus collective, which some two years ago squatted illegally at Long Meadow farm. Since then, it has caused considerable misery to my constituents, by running illegal raves and having no consideration for my constituents, some of whom have not been able to get out of their homes while the raves have been going on and some of whom have been denied access to their homes. Those homes have been made filthy by the activities of those who have gone to the raves, and Exodus has acted in a thoroughly anti-social and unneighbourly fashion.

The organisation tried to buy Long Meadow farm. It gave promises that it never kept and strung out the process to such a degree that, in the end, a Minister wrote to me saying that it was no longer realistic to sell the farm to Exodus, and it would therefore be re—advertised. Nine days later, the Minister reversed that decision.

The petition states: The petition of the residents of Mid-Bedfordshire declares that there is great concern over the sale of Long Meadow farm in Chalton, Bedfordshire to the collective Exodus and over the continued harassment which has been suffered by the residents of Mid-Bedfordshire as a result of the activities of the Exodus collective, which has been squatting on Long Meadow farm for two years. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions decided on 25th October 1999 that the collective had failed after 18 months to pay a deposit and exchange contracts on Long Meadow farm and that the collective would be evicted from the land on 3rd November 1999, an eviction which has not been carried out despite the Highways Agency conclusion that the prospect of sale to the collective was no longer realistic. The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions to adhere to the decision to evict the Exodus collective from Long Meadow farm, and to cancel the contract to sell the property and instead to sell the property to those who will act in a responsible and neighbourly manner. And the petitioners remain, etc. To lie upon the Table.

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