Residents raving mad over all night trance party at disused Putney warehouse
1:20pm Wednesday 10th October 2012 in News
A large group broke into a disused Putney warehouse and held an all-night trance party, sparking fears of a return of 1990s style "raves".
A number of vans, containing speakers and other music equipment, rolled up to the empty premises in an industrial estate in Osiers Road, off Putney Bridge Road, on Saturday, September 22.
Although police were immediately informed by residents, they were powerless to stop the party or evict the partygoers.
The new tougher laws allow squatters to be evicted rapidly from residential premises, but this does not extend to commercial property.
A building is defined as residential if it is "designed or adapted, before the time of entry, for use as a place to live".
The defiant group of "non-squatters" even put up a notice outside the building outlining their rights - following the law change on September 1 this year.
Hundreds of youngsters turned up as word of the party spread on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook and the party raged until the early hours - to the fury of neighbours.
The industrial estate is in the middle of a wealthy residential area which is home to a number of schools.
Writing on Community website PutneySW15.com, one concerned resident said: "I have never seen such feral young people in all my life. God help the residents of Point Pleasant/Osiers Road."
Another contributor said: "Why don't the drugs squad raid them - am sure they'd find tonnes of ecstasy and other drugs. Sounds horrendous. Hope they can shut them down."
Many communities within the M25 orbital were blighted in the early 1990s due to the number of illegal "rave" parties, attended by thousands of revellers, set up in warehouses and industrial estates.
A spokesman for Wandsworth Police said: "The police are aware of this. It is a non-residential building on an industrial estate.
"The recent legislation introduced with new police powers to arrest squatters only applies to residential premises so can not be used.
"The landowners have been contacted and advised to obtain an eviction / possession notice which they have done."
The building has since been vacated.