Gordon Ramsay firm secures court possession order over squatter-occupied pub

A Gordon Ramsay company has secured a High Court order for the possession of an up-for-sale London pub occupied by squatters.

A group of people locked themselves inside the Grade II-listed York & Albany hotel and gastropub situated just outside Regent’s Park last week.

They set up a now closed “autonomous cafe” inside the building, called Camden Art Cafe, pledging to serve free food to the local community.

On Thursday, lawyers for Gordon Ramsay Holdings International Limited (GRHI) told a judge it had an “immediate right to possession” of the pub and asked for an order to retake the property amid a “risk of public disturbance”.

Judge Simon Brown granted the order at a short hearing in London.

Restaurant squatting
Squatters previously pictured inside the York & Albany pub near Regent’s Park, London (Victoria Jones/PA)

Timothy Foot, representing GRHI – which counts chef Ramsay as one of its directors, told the court that squatters had been served legal papers via email and in physical form.

None of the group attended the hearing and they were not represented by a lawyer.

Mr Foot said that GRHI “remains the leaseholder of the property, notwithstanding that it has ceased trading at the premises”.

He continued: “The claimant says it has immediate right to possession. It says that the persons unknown who have entered the land have done so without its consent and… it is therefore requesting an order for possession.

“Had the claimant not brought and served proceedings then a so called community cafe which was operated would have continued to operate.”

The York & Albany hotel and gastropub
A group of people locked themselves inside the Grade II-listed building (William Warnes/PA)

“In these circumstances the claimant is entitled to an order for possession,” the barrister said.

Mr Ramsay previously called the police but was unable to have the squatters removed, it is understood.

Last week, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Police were made aware of squatters at a disused property in Parkway, Regent’s Park, NW1 on Wednesday, April 10.

“This is a civil matter and so police did not attend the property.”

In 2007, film director Gary Love bought the freehold of the former 19th century coaching inn.

He subsequently leased the property to Mr Ramsay on a 25-year term with an annual rent of £640,000.

The Kitchen Nightmares host unsuccessfully attempted to free himself from the lease in a legal battle at the High Court in 2015.

The venue went on sale at the end of last year with a guide price of £13 million.

According to a Companies House document, GRHI is the holding company that offers management and operational support to the restaurants within the Gordon Ramsay Restaurants Limited group.

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