Meet the only family living in doomed block of flats – and they don’t want to leave


All of the family’s neighbors were relocated elsewhere and they have watched them all desert the doomed low-rise block after they agreed to move out

Craig Bourne and his family are the only remaining tenants in the doomed block

A mum and her two sons are the only family left living in a doomed block of flats and they don’t want to leave their home.

The only remaining tenants in the property which is due to be demolished are Craig Bourne, his mum and brother.

All of their neighbors were relocated elsewhere and the family had watched them all desert the low-rise block.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is planning to bulldoze and replace eight low-rise blocks and maisonettes.

The council first unveiled its proposals to redevelop the 155 flats in December 2018 and a new masterplan is being drawn up, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.

The authority is hoping to demolish the blocks within the next year but it hinges on the last 20 remaining tenants and leaseholders being moved.







The low-rise block of flats off Bucknall New Road where Craig Bourne and his family live
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Image:

Stoke Sentinel/BPM Media)

Craig, 38, has lived in the three-bedroom flat for 10 years and his family don’t want to leave.

He told StokeonTrentLive : “Everyone else has gone. It’s just me, my mum and my brother in one flat on the top floor.

“I don’t see the point in them being knocked down. There’s nothing wrong with them.

“We’ve been here 10 years and we are happy here. But now we’ve been told they’re going to knock them down and we’re going to have to move.

“Everybody else has gone and we’re just waiting to hear. We don’t know if we’re going to be here for another 12 months or five years. We’ve not actually been told when we’re actually moving.







Temitope Adegboye says it is peaceful place to live
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Image:

Stoke Sentinel/BPM Media)

“We don’t want to move away from Hanley. My brother works at a garage nearby, my mum works on Victoria Road. It’s quick to get to Hanley and to and from work from here.

“They should leave the flats alone. It would cost them less to refurbish the flats, the kitchen and bathrooms just need sorting.

“It’s just wasting money because these flats are still liveable. They spent thousands of pounds about three or four years ago putting new fire safety doors in.

“We had all new doors and now they’re knocking them down. The doors cost the council a couple of grand each.

“When they did the main road, they also installed new banisters in the tarmacking here. That’s another grand and a half.

“It’s just bonkers. It’s wasting money and I don’t see the point. If they just did some repairs, it would cost them less.

“We don’t see the point in being moved. We will be sad to leave, but I can’t see us moving in the next couple of years because there aren’t many three-bedroom houses in this area.







The flats in Hanley, where Hani Hossenine is the only remaining tenant
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Image:

Stoke Sentinel/BPM Media)

“I have friends that need two or three-bedroom flats. If they just refurbished these, it would be so much easier and people could move back in. It’s just wear and tear.

“I’m against them knocking the flats down, it’s just a waste of money. It’s like Hanley bus station and Meigh Street car park.

“They knocked down the old bus station to build a new one and a shopping center in its place, but that never happened. They’re now knocking down the car park to build another one.

“We’d prefer the council to just update the flats and repair the jobs so we can stay where we are. There’s a lot of room in this block of flats just for us three.”

Temitope Adegboye’s flat, in a different block, has also been earmarked for demolition

The 35-year-old said: “It’s such a peaceful place to live. The flat is very nice and cosy.

“It would be very bad if they decided to knock these flats down. It will be a shame.

“It’s a very beautiful property. The flat is a nice and comfortable environment. It could do with some repairs, but it’s better then where I used to live. I’m very happy here.

“My flat has two bedrooms and it’s clean and tidy. It’s not bad at all. There’s nothing wrong with them. It’s very nice.”

Hani Hossenine is also the only remaining tenant in his block of flats. They have also been earmarked for demolition, but Hani says he is happy to leave.

The 38-year-old said: “I’ve lived in this flat for 10 years. I don’t like living here because there’s too many problems with it, but I don’t know where I will go. I’m happy to be moved when these can be knocked down.”

Most of the 155 homes were already vacant when the plans were first unveiled and the council says it will continue to rehouse residents and negotiate with leaseholders to acquire properties.

Councilor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing and the environment, said: “We’ll continue conversations with the residents that are still there, and work with them to find suitable accommodation and better accommodation that they’re happy with.

“So we’ll continue to chat and work our way through it with them.

“The Bucknall New Road development forms part of the strategy to improve the quality of housing in the city – whether it’s council housing or private, it matters not – we need to improve what we have already.

“There will be some housing revenue account properties which are no longer viable and not worth repairing and maintaining.

“We’ll replace them with new, modern, well-designed buildings, for current and future tenants.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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