The last person living on a deserted housing estate set for demolition has spent nearly £2,000 redecorating his home.
Nick Wisniewski, 67, has no neighbours in the 128 flats around him after eight blocks on Stanhope Place in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, were scheduled for demolition.
He has refused to leave despite the council offering £35,000 and two years’ rent.
Mr Wisniewski blasted council chiefs who he said haven’t been in touch since November 2021.
The retired TSB bank worker added that an area of the car park outside of his flat has also become an eyesore with piled up rubbish and overgrown grass.
Nick Wisniewski, 67, has no neighbours in the 128 flats surrounding him after eight blocks on Stanhope Place in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, were scheduled for demolition
The eight blocks of flats and other homes on Stanhope Place (pictured) are all due to be demolished but Nick refuses to leave until he gets an offer of at least £80,000 from North Lanarkshire council
Mr Wisniewski blasted council chiefs who he said haven’t been in touch since November 2021
He has refused to leave even though the council has offered him £35,000 and two years’ rent
He said no one cleans the block anymore and that the halls have been left in darkness, with lights no longer coming on in other floors.
Despite the council’s attempts to buy him out, Mr Wisniewski has no plans to leave.
He has spent nearly £2,000 repainting, carpeting his living room and panelling his hall.
Mr Wisniewski said: ‘I’m not worried about spending money on the flat because I think I am going to be here for a while.
‘I have still heard nothing from the council.
The retired TSB bank worker said an area in the car park outside of his flat has also become an eyesore with rubbish piled up
Piles of plastic bags and discarded waste now litter the carpark outside his home
He said: ‘I think people think no one lives here anymore and have just started using it as a dumping ground, it’s like a s*** tip’
Mr Wisniewski said: ‘The grass is overgrown, it all looks terrible.’ Pictured: Mr Wisniewsky outside the flats
He said no one cleans the block anymore and that the halls have been left in darkness with the lights no longer coming on in other floors
‘At the end of last year they said they were doing a compulsory purchase order but they haven’t even notified me about it.
‘I don’t know if it was all a ploy to try and scare me into contacting them but why should I have to get in touch with them.
‘If they want me to go they need to get in touch with me.
‘The last time I spoke to anyone from the council about it was November 2021, it’s absolutely shocking.’
The retired TSB bank worker refuses to leave as he claims the offer would not be enough to buy somewhere else, adding that he is also too old to get a mortgage
The 67-year-old thinks the council are ‘leaving it unkept to annoy me or in the hope I get fed up and leave’ and has denied multiple attempts to buy him out. Pictured, boarded up doors on the estate
Retired TSB bank worker Mr Wisniewski is the only resident in the estate since everyone else moved out more than a year ago
The windows of Stanhope Place housing estate, pictured, are boarded up or have been smashed in. Mr Wisniewski has no neighbours and has been the only person living there since December
Mr Wisniewski said the car park has become an eyesore after people started turning up to dump their rubbish.
He said: ‘At the other side of the car park area a huge pile of rubble has appeared and people have just started dumping their rubbish there now.
‘I have no idea where it came from but it’s an eyesore.
‘I think people think no one lives here anymore and have just started using it as a dumping ground, it’s like a s*** tip.
The estate pictured in the late 1990s. It has since become a ‘ghost town’ as all residents but one have moved out due to plans to redevelop the area
‘I am on the bottom floor but up the stairs is in total darkness now, there are no lights on anymore.
‘The grass is overgrown, it all looks terrible.
‘I can’t understand the council’s rhyme or reason for anything they do.’
Mr Wisniewski bought his flat in 2017 under the Right to Buy scheme, which helped council tenants buy their homes at a discounted price.
He said the area made up of eight blocks used to be buzzing with around 200 people, but the last residents left in December 2021.
Council officials want to flatten the area to redevelop it and offered Mr Wisniewski £35,000 for his flat plus two years’ rent somewhere else if he moved.
Yet he claimed North Lanarkshire Council’s offer would not be enough to buy somewhere else.
He said: ‘When I found out I was going to be the last person left on the street I really did worry there would be problem, but thankfully there hasn’t been trouble.
‘I could be wrong, but I am assuming the council are holding off until they build the new bungalows and maybe they will offer me one of them.
‘They initially said they would give me two years rent free, but I would want more than that now.
‘If they are offering me money for the flat it would need to be near the £100,000 mark now – prices have gone up, everything is more expensive now.’
A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council told MailOnline: ‘It is normal practice for residents to be responsible for the upkeep of indoor communal areas they use.
‘The council has not received any reports from Mr Wisniewski in relation to lighting faults or repair work required.
‘We are pursuing a Compulsory Purchase Order for the property having at all times tried to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement with Mr Wisniewski.
‘We remain open to discuss a voluntary purchase and would encourage him to work with us to enable him to move to an alternative property and allow the regeneration work to progress.’
History of Stanhope Housing Estate
Nick Wisniewski has been living on Stanhope Place Housing Estate since he bought the property in 2017.
He has had no neighbours living beside him in the 128 flats on Stanhope Place.
Stanhope Place’s housing is believed to be made up of system-built houses and is estimated to have been built in the 1960s or 70s
The housing estate in Gowkthrapple, Wishaw, North Lanarkshire has been a ‘ghost town’ since the last of around 200 residents moved out in December to make way for the incoming development.
Stanhope Place’s housing is believed to be made up of system-built houses and is estimated to have been built in the 1960s or 70s.
They are made up of factory-made concrete panels and only have a design life of around 60 years, and have been noted as poorly insulated and expensive to maintain.
Stanhope sits in the Gowkthrapple neighbourhood, and the name is a Scottish compound word made up of ‘gowk’ and ‘thrapple’, with the former meaning ‘idiot’ or ‘cuckoo’ and the latter meaning ‘throat’ or ‘strangle’.
The estate is said to have gained a reputation locally for its growing crime rates from the early 2010s onwards, due to its physical isolation from the rest of Wishaw, leading to economic and social issues in the area.
Until the 1970s there was very little development of Stanhope Place housing estate with multiple demolitions of blocks of flats taking place but no replacement to them.
The estate was once attached to a former Pather Iron & Steel works which sat adjacent to the site.
The Gowkthrapple area has had its ‘fair share of troubles’, North Lanarkshire Council has said, citing poor quality environment, vacant and derelict land, anti-social spaces, social isolation and a fast road as contributions to the redevelopment plans.
The council said that there are ‘still major physical challenges to overcome’ which includes a recently enlarged electric generating substation, pylons and transmission lines which cut across the neighbourhood, creating a ‘barrier to safe pedestrian movement’.
North Lanarkshire Council has shared their extensive plans to redevelop the area with new housing, roads, shops, open spaces and community facilities.
Gowkthrapple is located 20 miles south east of Glasgow, which suffered a ‘slum crisis’ in the mid 20th century. This led to many housing blocks being built outside of the city as a solution to the increased population of industrial workers living in central city slums after the second world war.