Activists can be evicted from former Glasgow homeless shelter

Activists can be evicted from a former Glasgow homeless shelter, it is understood.

Activists have occupied the former Hamish Allan Centre.

Glasgow City Council took the campaigners, who began their occupation of the former Hamish Allan Centre during COP26, to court today in an effort to force their eviction.

A spokesman for the council said a decree, which allows the owner of a building to employ sheriff officers to take back possession, had been granted and the local authority welcomed the decision.

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He said the occupation had invalidated the building’s insurance, creating a “potentially huge financial risk” for taxpayers.

The occupiers, who said they were running a community project offering “practical solutions to the housing crisis” from the centre, which they named Baile Hoose, had wanted the court to postpone to allow them to seek “appropriate legal representation”.

They had initially taken over the building to house protesters who were struggling to find accommodation during the climate summit earlier this month.

The council spokesman said the building is “not suitable or safe to be used as accommodation” and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has “served a statutory notice that makes clear its serious concerns in terms of fire safety”.

He said the council could face criminal charges if it did not take action.

“We have been clear throughout the occupation that the building is not suitable or safe to be used as accommodation — as has the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“It remains deeply concerning that potentially vulnerable people are being encouraged to use it, despite that fact, and we welcome the court’s decision to grant the decree.”

The activists at Baile Hoose, who were self-representing in court, had said they recognised the council was “chronically and unacceptably underfunded” but shutting down buildings only “deepens the problem”.

“The Hamish Allan Centre has been empty for over three years. If not brought back into use, it risks being sold to private developers who continue to profit off the systematic destruction of community spaces in Glasgow.”