The original members of the group took over 29 empty and derelict Victorian terraced houses in the late 1970s. The properties had been condemned under an inner-city regeneration scheme.
The council had planned to demolish the houses, which had been subject to compulsory purchase orders, and to replace them with light industrial units, but the scheme never happened.
After trying to evict the squatters for many years, the council came to the conclusion that the residents were so integrated into the local community, it would be wrong to continue trying to oust them.
In return for granting the squatters legal rights to remain, the council stipulated that seven houses should be demolished in order to provide land for the industrial units.
Now the council's urban regeneration sub-committee has approved the final stage of the plan, giving the go-ahead for the refurbishment of the remaining houses.