The Grantham Butter Factory is on the market, but is filled with junk accumulated by a resident squatter. Former factory worker Lou Kleidon (below) is saddened by the state of the old building.
The Grantham Butter Factory is on the market, but is filled with junk accumulated by a resident squatter. Former factory worker Lou Kleidon (below) is saddened by the state of the old building. Sarah Harvey

Squatter to vacate butter factory

A LONG-TERM tenant of a soon-to-be-sold historic butter factory has agreed to move out of the property.

The man, who took offence to being called a squatter, has lived at the property for at least the past two decades and accumulated tonnes of junk.

But the factory’s owner, who has put the iconic building on the market, is doubtful the man he calls a “squatter” will move and take all of his belongings with him.

The resident known only by his first name, Yen, has lived in the factory with his piles of organised mess he describes as “useful bits and pieces” for at least the past 20 years.

But the heritage-listed building in Grantham, about 10km west of Gatton, is on the market, and potential buyers have had to try and look past the “eyesore” to see its potential.

Ray White Gatton principal Andrew O’Brien said it was difficult to sell the property with the amount of mess inside.

“It’s putting off any prospective buyer. When a property looks nice, it sells itself,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The junk certainly affects the sale of the property, but not the price, because it’s not like we have heaps of butter factories up for sale.”

Former butter factory worker Lou Kleidon, 84, visited the site this week and said he was “saddened” by the condition of the property and the amount of junk that has accumulated.

“It’s such a shame that this has happened,” Mr Kleidon said.

Yen has set his own eviction date of July 7 moved from his original vacating date of June 30, and instructed the real estate agent he will be out by 5pm and so too his “useful” belongings.

The factory resident denied he is a squatter and said he first entered an agreement with the property’s owner Glyn Lovekin about 20 years ago to become its caretaker.

“I’ve paid all the rates and water bills and other costs associated with the property for several years,” the man said.

“I’m not a squatter and I never have been a squatter.”

The property’s owner Glyn Lovekin said he “gave the man his marching orders a year ago”.

“The only presence there now is a squatter surrounded by his clutter. I gave him his marking orders a year ago with the instructions to take his junk with him,” Mr Lovekin said.

“He is still there and so is his junk.”


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