CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Town Hall to remove ‘anti homeless’ boulder blocks

'Concrete-filled planters' were erected without permission

22 February, 2018 — By Tom Foot and Biba Kang

BLOCKS believed to have been chained to the wall to stop the homeless bedding down on the floor are to be removed – after the New Journal asked the Town Hall who put them there.

Camden Council said yesterday (Wednesday) it would remove the “concrete-filled planters” outside Dudley Court sheltered housing block in Endell Street, Covent Garden.

We contacted the council after barrister Tom Crisp, who works nearby, sent a photo into the paper saying he was “disgusted”.

Yesterday, he said: “The need to care for the increasing amount of homeless people in this city has never been greater, especially given the bitterly cold winter we are having. These anti-homeless boulders are not only unnecessary but also serve to ostracise the homeless community from our society. I am delighted to hear that the council are having these boulders removed.”

Stickers have also been posted on the walls around Dudley Court – each of them around one-foot from ground level – warning “children: keep clear”.

The boulders are also in front of the historic Sir Marmaduke’s Fountain that was donated by Sir Marmaduke Langdale in 1859. A “Langdale Marmaduke and Thomas distillers of Holborn” is mentioned in the Charles Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge.

The housing block was a former workhouse and now contains 23 retirement housing flats run by Camden Council overlooking the Oasis swimming pool. Its statement said: “These concrete-filled planters were placed on the public highway by a resident without our permission and we are now organising the removal of these, which should happen in the next couple of days.”

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