WITH its rolling greens and Regency frontage, Grade II* listed Beach House villa has attracted a king and knights to enjoy its seaside charms.
But the views are less appealing for the current residents of the 200-year-old former stately home — after homeless people pitched their tents in the front garden.
And they claim they have been left feeling powerless when they were informed they need an eviction notice for the campers to be removed.
Robin Biggs said it began when two men and a dog moved on to a communal area of garden outside the building in Worthing, West Sussex, in March.
He said they have squashed a flowerbed that had been renovated at a cost of £100 to residents.
Another tent has also been pitched up in recent weeks — but Worthing Borough Council’s response has added to their anger, according to Mr Biggs. ‘I was absolutely devastated. I thought my wife was joking when she told me,’ he said.
‘I want the tents removed before there are more, and the land tidied up again. I would also suggest some sort of railing with a gate around the area so it can stop them coming in.
‘We were trying to make the garden look beautiful. But they just dump their rubbish everywhere.’
Beach House was built in 1820 for Sir Frederick Adair Roe, chief magistrate of Bow Street court in east London and leader of the UK’s first professional police force, the Bow Street Runners. King Edward VII stayed there several times between 1907 and 1910, but it has since been divided into flats.
A council spokesman said the squatters have now been visited by a welfare team who are ‘progressing with a notice to evict’.