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Wed Jul 30 19:13:59 SAST 2014

Chinese "nail house" owner backs down, takes compensation

Sapa-dpa | 01 December, 2012 14:11
Excavators are used to demolish a house standing alone in the middle of a newly built road in Wenling, Zhejiang province December 1, 2012. Luo Baogen, the owner of the house, who earlier refused to sign an agreement to allow his house to be demolished, finally signed the agreement after discussions with the local government and his relatives. The demolition of the house started this Saturday, local media reported. Luo's house was the only building left standing on the road, which was paved through the village.
Image by: CHINA DAILY / REUTERS

An eastern China "nail house" that drew global media attention earlier this month for its eye-catching location in the midst of a roadway was demolished Saturday, state media reported, after the owner reversed himself and accepted compensation he had deemed unacceptable for more than a year prior.

"It was never a final solution for us to live in a lone house in the middle of the road," owner Luo Baogen told the Xinhua news agency. "After the government's explanations, I finally decided to move."

The Wenling city government will pay Luo 260,000 yuan (41,750 dollars) and give him a parcel of land for a new house, Xinhua said.

Before he signed the demolition agreement on Friday, Luo had always rejected that sum, arguing that he had spent 600,000 yuan on constructing the home more than 10 years ago.

About 90 per cent of online comments had backed what the official China Daily called Luo's "lone stand against the wrecking ball" from his five-storey partially demolished home in the middle of a highway.

Luo's property was the last building standing in a construction site near a railway station in the Zhejiang province city.

Supporters have rallied around owners of similar "nail houses" - so called because they resemble a nail sticking out of plank of wood - who refuse to give in to coercion by developers and local officials.

During the massive redevelopment of Chinese towns and cities in the last 25 years, many residents have accused developers of resorting to violence to evict people unwilling to move.

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Wed Jul 30 19:13:59 SAST 2014 ::