By Michael Evans.
City planners in Wenling, Zhejiang province have built a road around a 5-story house whose residents have refused to give up their land.
Two families living in the “nail house” (as such holdouts are commonly known) are all that remain of a 1,600-person village relocated beginning in 2007, when local authorities began development of a new business district.
One of the residents, Luo Baogen, 67, explained his reasons for holding out:
“We want a new house on a two-unit lot with simple interior decoration,” Luo told local reporters Thursday in video footage forwarded to The Associated Press.
Luo had just completed his house at a cost of about 600,000 yuan ($95,000) when the government first approached him with their standard offer of 220,000 ($35,000) to move out – which he refused, Chen said. The offer has since gone up to 260,000 yuan ($41,000).
Luo told local reporters his electricity and water are still flowing, and that he and his wife sleep in separate parts of the home to deter any partial demolition.
Zhang Ling, 46, another resident, told a British newspaper he was looking forward to living in the middle of a road, which has not yet opened to traffic.
“It could be a great opportunity for us,” Zhang was quoted as saying in the Mirror. “We could open up a drive-though shop on the ground floor.”