Watch: Retired bank worker refusing to move from street due to be knocked down
The last remaining resident of a street that is due to be completely knocked down is refusing to move – despite being offered thousands in compensation.
Retired bank worker Nick Wisniewski, 66, has no neighbours living beside him in 128 flats on Stanhope Place in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, after the last of around 200 residents moved out in December.
The eight blocks of flats and other homes on the estate are all scheduled for demolition – but Wisniewski is refusing to accept North Lanarkshire Council's £35k offer, plus two years’ rent somewhere else, if he moves.
He claims the council's offer would not be enough to buy somewhere else and that he is too old to get a mortgage.
Stanhope Place now lies abandoned and overgrown with empty properties boarded up after the last resident moved out in December last year.
Wisniewski said: “It’s like a ghost town now. It’s so quiet and strange being the only person living here.
“I’m used to it now, but it can get lonely, there is no one to speak to.”
Wisniewski said the flats were once full of 200 people before the council made the decision to flatten them so they can redevelop the area.
He bought his flat in 2017 under the Right to Buy scheme which helped council tenants buy their homes at a discounted price.
Council chiefs offered him alternative accommodation in a terraced house for two years rent free which he turned down and now says he doesn’t know where he will end up living – but doesn’t want to leave his home.
Wisniewski added: “When people left they just dumped old cookers, mattresses, washing machine outside, it was a mess.
“The council just left the flats lying empty after people moved out…
“I think the council are leaving it unkept to annoy me or in the hope I get fed up and leave.”
A spokesperson for North Lanarkshire Council said: “We fully understand this is a sensitive issue and are working closely with the resident.
"It would not be appropriate to discuss the specific financial details, but we are working in accordance with our policies to ensure the resident receives a fair deal and to support him so that he finds suitable alternative accommodation.”