A squatter structure in the heart of Causeway Bay was demolished yesterday after the shopkeeper locked himself in and had to be forcibly removed. The demolition went ahead despite the fact that legal action launched by Tong Wah-joh - whose father built the structure 50 years ago - is still pending. Mr Tong locked himself inside the 150 sq ft building, used as a hardware shop and a home for his brother, when workers from the Buildings Department arrived at 10am. After 15 minutes of fruitless negotiations, they broke in, evicted him and started pulling the building down. Work will continue today. The department said the structure was being pulled down because it had been built without permits. But Mr Tong said it was unreasonable to demolish the building because the judicial review over who owned the land was due next week and he needed it to be intact for that. One estimate has valued the land at HK$60 million. 'My shop poses no danger to the public. I just don't understand why the government can't wait to dismantle it. Now the shop is gone I can't show anything to the court as evidence.' He said fittings worth HK$100,000 were also destroyed yesterday. Mr Tong is awaiting an appeal against a judge's decision not to allow a judicial review of the department's closure order on the shop, which will be heard by the Court of Appeal on November 19. Mr Tong said the shop had been registered as a squatter structure with the Housing Authority in 1982, so it was not unlawful. But a government officer said the structure had been registered in 1986 under the Environmental Protection Clearance scheme, when Mr Tong had agreed that the structure could be cleared. Mr Tong has requested a judicial review against property giant Hysan Development Company, claiming adverse possession, also known as squatters' rights, and is waiting for a hearing on Monday. Under the principle of adverse possession, if a property is not being used by its owner, and if another person has used the property for 12 years or more, the other person can claim ownership.