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Squatters who have occupied a Gordon Ramsay pub in London have announced they plan to convert the listed building into a cafe and art gallery to welcome “the victims of gentrification”.

The celebrity chef had long had his York and Albany Gastropub in a former 19th-century coaching inn near Regent’s Park, but following legal wrangling between Ramsay and the site’s owner, film director Gary Love, the property was reportedly put on the market in December with a guide price of £13 million.

But this week, a group of at least six squatters occupied the site, locking themselves in, boarding up the windows and posting a “legal warning” to defend their takeover. Sun reported.

Squatters have big plans for the heritage-listed York & Albany Hotel and Gastropub (PA)Squatters have big plans for the heritage-listed York & Albany Hotel and Gastropub (PA)

Squatters have big plans for the heritage-listed York & Albany Hotel and Gastropub (PA)

A note attached to a door informed the group that they had the right to occupy the venue. The venue was not a “residential building” and therefore not subject to the 2012 law that created a new criminal offence of squatting.

Mr Ramsay reportedly called police on Wednesday but was unable to remove the squatters. The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “This is a civil matter and therefore police are not at the scene.”

In another twist on Sunday, the squatters revealed their intention to convert the space into a community cafe and art gallery

In a statement, they said: “We are occupying the York and Albany Hotel in Camden as a collective Camden Art Cafe. Our aim is to open our doors regularly to everyone, especially the people of Camden who have fallen victim to gentrification and parasitic projects like HS2.

“We offer free food, drinks and a space to exhibit their art without the ridiculous gallery red tape that people have to jump through. We believe that all of us and our art deserve dignity.

“Camden is a borough with one of the highest levels of wealth inequality in London, so it seems only fitting that £13 million properties that most locals could never afford to view should be made accessible to all.

“The York and Albany has been an iconic building in Camden since it opened in the 1820s. It has withstood wars and bombs and, whatever the media says, it will survive the possibly short but hopefully long stay we squatters have to spend here.

“At a time when Camden Market has been bought by a billionaire and many long-established local businesses are being forced out of their premises, it is even more important that we all unite in every form of resistance we know and can imagine.”

They also expressed their “solidarity with the Palestinian people and the long-time residents of Drummond Street and the surrounding residential areas whose entire lives have been turned upside down by HS2”.

Unauthorised occupation of a person’s non-residential property is not in itself a criminal offence in the UK. However, the police may take action if criminal offences are subsequently committed, including damage to or theft of the property.

Mr Love bought the property in 2007 and subsequently leased it to Mr Ramsay for 25 years at an annual rent of £640,000.

The Kitchen nightmares In 2015, the host unsuccessfully tried to get out of the rental agreement in a legal dispute before the High Court. At the end of last year, the location was up for sale.

The latest takeover appears to be linked to the Autonomous Winter Shelter group, which previously occupied a former monastery in east London and provided shelter to dozens of homeless people before being evicted by police last year.

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