A HOMEOWNER who refused to move when the council threatened to demolish his home says his defiance has paid off.
Charlie Wright, 71, was born and raised on the Center Terrace with four beds – which he bought from the council for just £6,000 some 30 years ago.
When he was offered a whole new plot of land – and a £2,000 bonus – so developers could tear it down and build a new estate about a decade later, Charlie turned it down.
Now hundreds of chic, desirable properties have sprung up around his home in Birkenhead, Wirral – and his property price has soared to a whopping £250,000.
“My mom and dad would be proud of me if I’d dug my heels in and stayed put,” he told The Sun.
“I told them right from the start that I wasn’t moving out and I stuck to that. I kept turning down what they offered me.”
16 years ago, developers knocked on the door as they prepared to demolish the property and replace it with a series of unified new builds.
One by one, Charlie’s neighbors took the money offered and moved out. But he would not give in.
“At one point they said, ‘Look Charlie, we’ll make a deal with you. Have a look around town and if you find a house you like, we’ll do a direct swap’.
“I actually looked at a place that looked across the Mersey to the Liver buildings, but it still didn’t appeal to me.
“I told them directly that I was born here and will not move.
“Mum and Dad raised all nine of their children here and we all loved it. To this day I see it as part of the family.
Refused to move
“It was Margaret Thatcher who gave ordinary people the right to buy their council housing, so I told the developers there was nothing to worry about. I would never sell.”
For years, Charlie lived in a lonely house with only the remains of two run-down lots for company.
Hundreds of new homes were built within sight of his bright yellow front door every year.
The former oil worker was nearly evicted when a burglar attacked him with a hammer.
As the owner of a four-bed terrace, he ended up in the hospital.
When he was well enough to get out, he found himself owning a new single-family home whose run-down buildings next door had been removed.
My mom and dad would be proud of me if I dig in my heels and stay put.
“I even have a driveway,” Charlie said.
There’s also a palm tree in the front yard and a St. George’s flag waving proudly beside it.
Nearby show homes were upscale names like The Knightsbridge and The Bamburgh. Charlie’s apartment is simply number 8.
“One of the neighbors paid £125,000 for his tiny house.
“But it’s tiny compared to mine. This is the only four bedroom detached house on the estate so I reckon it must be worth well over £200,000.”
Charlie fondly recalls the “magic moment” when he was wheeled onto the street to find the contractors had put the finishing touches on his new upscale home.
“It’s great, isn’t it? And this little area is such a brilliant place to live.
“I have the train station around the corner and there is also an Asda and Iceland. Birkenhead Park is just up the road.
“Some of my neighbors grew up around here and when the houses are built across from me it will be wonderful.
“I feel part of the community again.”
Charlie – who is busy restoring his back garden to its former glory – added: “I’m delighted I stayed. It just goes to show that if you hit your heels, you can win.
“I’m very proud of myself — and I think mom and dad would make up.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18159099/refused-to-move-council-threatened-demolish-property-price/ I refused to move when the council threatened to demolish my house, now it’s worth 42 times MORE after a new estate has been built