House owners refuse to give way to road

Last updated 17:37 23/11/2012

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Exclusive location. Close to transport. Lots of room. Unique view. For once all those tired, old real estate cliches are accurate.

Luo Baogen and his wife have refused to move out of their five-storey apartment block to make way for a highway in Wenling, in China's Zhejiang province.

So the apartment block now serves as an unusual roundabout, surrounded by a multi-lane highway which, when complete, will lead to Wenling railway station.

International media have picked up on the Baogen family's firm stance, quoting the People's Daily, which reported the couple were not happy with the compensation they were offered to move out.

Their neighbours have moved on, leaving much of the building empty.

Several reports said changes in private ownership laws in China have made it harder for residents to be forced out of their homes.

The family are not the only people in China to put up such a fight.

The Daily Mail reported Hong Chunqin, 75, and her husband Kung, residents in Taizhou, in Zhejiang province, had made a similar decision this year to stay in a building, which now sits in the middle of a multi-lane road.

The family initially accepted compensation, but then changed their minds.

In England, the M62 highway near Scammonden runs right through Stott Hall Farm.

It was one property to survive when hundreds were bulldozed in the 1970s.

The tenant farmer, Paul Thorp, told the BBC in 2008 the farm had become an unofficial service station for motorists.

"People running out of petrol; coming and wanting to buy petrol and diesel; wanting to borrow spanners and jacks and to use the telephone," Mr Thorp said.

"If I've got some petrol I'll sell them some. I'll try and help anybody out.

"It's just not a nice spot to be, at the side of the road, especially if it's rough weather. I can't afford to give the petrol away, though. If I could get a regular trade, it'd be OK."

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- Fairfax Media

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