Family-of-nine are last ones living in ghost street and they don’t want to leave
A dad-of-seven whose family is the only one left living in a deserted street is standing his ground against council chiefs who want to bulldoze his home.
Demonique Wilson and his wife, Thabo are in a heated dispute with Salford town hall bosses over the value of their house, which is set for demolition as part of a £250m regeneration project.
Their three-bed home on Holcombe Close, Pendleton is the only one still occupied in the otherwise abandoned row. A planning application to replace the row of houses with a 485-home scheme – part of a major Pendleton regeneration that's been in the works for over a decade – is currently under review by Salford city council.
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However, mental health nurse Mr Wilson, 55 and his family are staying put because they believe the council's offer doesn't reflect the value of their home. They claim the council has offered them just £165,000 to move out, but Mr Wilson insists it's impossible to find a suitable home in the Pendleton area for that price.
A lawyer for the family claims that a three-bedroom home in the area would cost between £227,000 and £300,000. The Wilsons bought their former council house 15 years ago for £70,000 and now owe less than £23,000 on their mortgage.
The city council offered them £95,000 to move out last August, but Mr Wilson says this is not enough. "I think the city council are being unreasonable," he said. "They have offered me what it would cost for only a two-bed property. How can I accommodate a family of seven in such a place? It's virtually impossible. This situation is causing me and my family a great deal of stress."
A spokesperson for Salford city council explained: "The council can only pay the market value of the family's current home and has offered the family additional assistance in the form of a relocation equity loan to help bridge any gap to help the family buy a new home."
When asked if the disagreement over the property's value was delaying the planning application, they responded: "No, as with all applications of this size, the local planning authority is awaiting consultation responses to enable them to consider the application as a whole, which includes 146 affordable homes and improvements to Clarendon Park and the wider neighbourhood."
The massive development began in 2009 and featured a number of affordable homes, green spaces and public recreation areas which has since become a place of "regeneration activity".
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