ONE of the few remaining residents in a desolate estate dubbed the 'British Chernobyl' insists he is staying put – even though the area faces demolition.
For years, Clune Park in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, has been left to rot, taking on the eerie appearance of a post-apocalyptic wasteland scarred by arson attacks and overrun by the natural world.
The once-bustling estate was built back in 1905, comprising of 430 flats in 45 tenement buildings, which mostly housed shipyard workers employed in the nearby River Clyde dock.
However, after being inexplicably abandoned in 1997, the area is now an eerie shadow of its former self, with buildings sporting countless smashed windows and graffiti-tagged walls reading "ghost town".
In January, Inverclyde Council confirmed they they will be pursuing a compulsory purchase order with plans to demolish the estate entirely to build 100-120 new homes.
But long-time resident Marshal Craig says that despite being one of just four residents left, he has no plans to vacate his home.
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The 66-year-old tells The Sun:“There’s only four of us left now. I see one man down the end of the estate who walks his dog but that’s about it.
“I have no plans to leave this area, it’s got everything that I need.”
One flat in the estate was sold at auction for just £6,000 back in 2020 due to the area's high crime rate and poor housing conditions.
The majority of the flats are small, with 69 bedsits, 310 one-bedroom flats and 51 two-bedroom flats.
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As a result the area had one of the highest densities of housing in Inverclyde.
The estate now has the highest rate of below tolerable standard (BTS) housing and the highest void rates of any neighbourhood area in Inverclyde.
Marshal insists that while all but a handful of residents have moved on, the estate should not be bulldozed.
“I spoke to my landlord, and he said that us being evicted from the council for the estate to be demolished is fake news," he says.
“I’ve lived here for four years in this house and 20 years in total on the estate.
“They’re good houses that shouldn’t be demolished.
“I’ve got a great view. It’s like a castle, big thick strong walls – you don’t get any sound.
“Occasionally we get a bit of trouble but it’s just from vandals."
When The Sun visited the estate this week, properties looked hastily abandoned and left to crumble, with front doors left wide open or hanging off their hinges.
Several flats have even been burnt down in alleged arson attacks, giving the area a post-apocalyptic feel, despite being just 30 minutes drive from one of the country's busiest city centres in Glasgow.
The pavements are unsafe to even walk on, with broken glass and discarded tat littering the streets.
However, there still remain eerie reminders of the once-active community in the form of a gothic-style church, and a primary school building – both of which have equally remained unused for years.
Likewise, many homes have possessions abandoned inside with much of the interior furnishings left to decay.
'I found it really eerie'
Urban explorer Kyle Urbex, 27, filmed a video earlier this year where he explored the depths of the estate, which he labelled "Scotland’s Chernobyl".
He told us: “Inside I found it really eerie in a way – the fact that all these flats were abandoned and left to rot.
“However, some of them were still lived in and I found it quite crazy how people could live in those conditions as most of the flats were either fire damaged or really decayed.
“I managed to get into the school and the church too, which was quite interesting and made my explore fully worthwhile.
“I found old ornaments and weird graffiti saying 'Someone lives on the 3rd floor' and found it bizarre.”
Inverclyde Council has already acquired over 50 per cent of the housing on the estate and are attempting to purchase remaining properties.
But they must first agree a deal with the existing handful of private landlords who are renting the ‘apartments’ to tenants for a reported £250 a month.
A spokesperson for Inverclyde Council said: “It remains our ambition to acquire properties at Clune Park to allow for the delivery of long term regeneration of the area.
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“While progress has been frustratingly slow and costly, the ambition still remains and discussions are continuing to achieve this aim at the earliest possible opportunity.”
No formal decision has been taken by the council in respect of the CPO. However, Clune Park has been identified in the Inverclyde Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2023-28 for approximately 100-120 units.
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