Monday, 21. April 2014 - 06:04
03. 05. 12. - 08:00
A stubborn property owner has ended living in the middle of a brand new main road after she refused to move out when developers started construction at Taizhou, in east China’s Zhejiang province.
Seventy-five-year-old Hong Chunqin and her husband Kung who live in the two dilapidated buildings together with their two sons had initially agreed to sell the property – and accepted £8000 in compensation, but then changed her mind and refunded the money once work on the road had started.
The woman and her family are insisting they are allowed to choose where they are relocated to and they have installed CCTV cameras on the property to stop the developers from using any tricks to demolish the building illegally.
In the People's Republic of China, during most of the Communist era, private ownership of real property was abolished making it easy for residents to be moved on - but now the laws have been tightened up and it is now illegal to demolish property by force without an agreement.
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.
A number of high-profile nail houses have already received widespread attention.
In one famous case, one family among 280 others at the location of a six-story shopping mall under construction in Chongqing refused for two years to vacate a home their family had inhabited for three generations.
Developers cut their power and water, and excavated a 10-meter deep pit around their home.
The owners broke into the construction site, reoccupied it, and flew a Chinese flag on top and then Yang Wu, a local martial arts champion, used nunchakus to make a staircase to the house and threatened to beat any authorities who attempted to evict him.
The owners turned down an offer of £300,000 but eventually settled with the developers in 2007.
In another example, a "nail house" remained in Changsha, even after a shopping centre was built around it, and now sits in a courtyard of the finished complex.
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