London: A private estate in Britain that is home to a host of celebrities – including Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty – is reportedly being taken over by a gang of squatters.
The celebrity residents of the St. George’s Hill community in Weybridge, Surrey, are now being asked to be “vigilant” following the arrival of the squatters.
Former residents of the estate include singer Elton John, former Beatle Ringo Starr and Hollywood actress Kate Winslet.
Six squatters reportedly moved into the abandoned three million pound, six-bedroom Woodlawn Cottage on the exclusive estate in April, and claim they were not acting illegally.
The property was reportedly abandoned six years ago and has since become derelict. The squatters say they plan to stay as long as possible.
“It is legal for me to be here. I found the place on Google maps so I came up to have a look and the place was open. The locks had been broken off, no one was living here, it was completely open – so why not?” a squatter named Stefan Cybulski said.
Homeowners now say they want the illegal movers out.
“It does seem pretty extraordinary that the police can’t do anything to get these people off the estate,” a resident said.
“They have no right to be here, yet the law appears to be on their side – it’s completely wrong.”
Properties on the estate are worth nearly 10 million pounds.
A security guard is now being employed to keep the property under surveillance. Police have set up extra patrol of the area. (IANS)