Won't sell up? Enjoy living in the middle of a motorway! Road is built around a house after elderly Chinese couple refuse to move
- An elderly couple refuse to move as a road is built around their apartment
- They insist the government's relocation compensation is not enough
By Alex Ward
A lone apartment building stands in the middle of a newly built road after an elderly couple refused to relocate.
Luo Baogen and his wife insist on living in the half-demolished building in the city of Wenling, in Zhejiang province, China because they believe that the relocation compensation offered by the government is not enough.
Now the only building left standing, the five storey block is a strange sight as cars drive around it while the couple remain living inside.
An elderly couple refused to leave despite plans for the road a railway station to be built directly where the building stands
To ensure the couple's safety, adjacent rooms in the building have been left intact but all their neighbours have moved out, according to local media.
The road paved through the Xiazhangyang village leads to the Wenling railway station and is yet to be officially opened.
Mr Baogen and his wife believe that the compensation on offer would not be enough to cover their rebuilding costs.
In the People's Republic of China, during most of the Communist era, private ownership of property was abolished, making it easy for residents to be moved on - but now the laws have been tightened up and it is illegal to demolish property by force without an agreement.
Not enough to move: The couple refused to move because they believed the relocation compensation offered by the government was not enough
Room with a view: Luo Baogen looks out on the new road which is yet to be officially opened from the apartment building where all his neighbours moved out
Property owners in China that refuse to move to make way for development are known as 'Nail Householders' referring to a stubborn nail that is not easy to remove from a piece of old wood and cannot be pulled out with a hammer.
Earlier this year, Hong Chunqin, 75, and her husband Kung, who live in the two dilapidated buildings with their two sons, had initially agreed to sell the property in Taizhou, in Zhejiang province and accepted £8,000 in compensation.
But then she changed her mind and refunded the money once work on the road had started.
Proof: Mr Baogen stands in front of his home holding the certificate that states he owns the land beneath it, meaning that he and his wife can't be forced to move away
Folorn: Mr Baogen looks wistfully across his new scenery, the tarmac from the new road waving haphazardly along the side of the building and demarcating the homeowner's land
Calm before the storm: The balcony from Mr Baogen's home looks peaceful now, but this is all likely to change shortly when the motorway surrounding the property is opened to traffic
Thinking laterally: When Mr Baogen refused to vacate his property, which was right in the middle of a planned route for a new motorway, the road builders refused to let this get in the way