Shanghai house in road torn down after 14-year battle

By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai | China Daily | 2017-09-19 07:45

Shanghai house in road torn down after 14-year battle

Images of North Huting Road in Shanghai before and after the three-story house was demolished. [Cao Lei/For China Daily]

A three-story house that had been standing alone in the middle of an arterial road in Shanghai's suburban Songjiang district was torn down in the early morning on Monday after a 14-year dispute.

Old residential houses surrounding the building were torn down several years ago to widen North Huting Road to four lanes.

The owners of the house-known as a nailhouse, which describes a building whose owners hold out against developers-didn't reach an agreement for compensation with the relocation authority. So the four lanes, two in each direction, had to be reduced to two lanes to go around the structure.

Zhang Xinguo, the son-in-law of 89-year-old Xu Jun, who owned the house, said the family paid a big price in their everyday lives for standing their ground.

"It's noisy around the clock and particularly late at night when trucks come and go. My mother-in-law died of a heart attack three years ago," said Xu, who lived in the house with his wife, father-in-law, son's family of three and a married daughter.

Despite the noise, dust and safety risks, there was also tremendous psychological pressure, Xu said, adding that the family moved to a rented apartment nearby on Friday before going to relocation homes offered by the government.

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