Last man standing won't leave his home

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Charlie Wright, a 62-year-old from Birkenhead, is refusing to leave the home he was born in, and has lived in all his life. His determination to stay put hasn't been shaken by the fact that the council has pulled down every other house on his former estate - all 600 of them - leaving his home in the middle of scrub-land.

So why won't he move? And is it unusual to choose to stay put?
> The BBC reported on Wright, who was born in the five bedroom house on the River Streets Estate near the Birkenhead docks. His mother had moved into the council property after the war, the family purchased the property, and his parents lived there happily with all ten of their children.

He told the Daily Mail that he missed the days when he was part of a community - and had neighbours - he has been the last man standing in this area for seven years now.

The council decided to get rid of the estate in 2001 after the decline of local industries meant there was little demand for property, and the area started to fall into a state of disrepair. The plan was to replace the homes with new workplaces, but the investment did not materialise.

Home of Charlie Wright


The BBC said that now the area could be regenerated as new housing, part of the Wirral Waters development.

Who knows whether Wright will be able to stay on with his new neighbours. The computer-generated images on the Wirral Waters website show gleaming apartment buildings and modern town-houses, but no old council houses nestling in among the shiny new walkways and waterside cafes.

Last women standing

Anyone wanting to move him would have a fight on their hands. But he's not the first person to hold on where others have given in.

In May last year we reported the story of Enid Jones, a a 58-year-old from Glyndwr Road in Aberystwyth in West Wales, who was refusing to sell her home to make way for a new development - including a Tesco and a M&S. The final decision of what to do with her will be in the hands of the Welsh Parliament - who have to decide whether the new development is in the best interests of the community - and therefore worth pushing Jones out of her home.

In 2001 it was the turn of 78-year-old Helena Hunt of Limvady in County Londonderry. Developers wanted to buy her house as part of a redevelopment project for the town centre. She refused, so they gradually upped their offer for her home from £40,000 to £250,000. She continued to hold out and eventually the project fell through.

But perhaps the oddest example comes from Seattle in the US. 84-year-old Edith Macefield refused every offer from developers to buy her home - even when they upped it to $1 million. Eventually they gave in and built a huge shopping complex around her tiny home. During the construction, one of the workers befriended her, and ended up caring for her when she grew ill. She died at home in 2008 and left him the property. He refused to sell it to the developers.