We’re the only family left living on our street and we’re refusing to move despite warnings our lives are at risk | The Sun
11th September 2023

A DEFIANT family living in a street is refusing to move out despite warnings their lives are at risk.

Mum-of-one Sophie Kendall and her family are the only ones living in a deadly road in Neath Port Talbot, Wales.

The homes on Cyfyng Road near Ystalyfera are at risk because of a dangerous landslide following ten tonnes of earth sliding into the road.

All neighbours were forced to pack up four years ago due to a risk to their lives.

But one household remained defiant to the eviction.

Sophie Kendall, 28, snubbed all warnings to quit her home in the middle of the terrace of houses where she grew up.

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Fuming Sophie explained: "We are not moving because this is our home. I've only ever really lived here.

"They have taken everything down to one side of our house and then they are going to start at the other end.

"We didn't have a clue that the demolition was starting. My four-year-old daughter has asthma and there is dust everywhere.

Living with daughter Jorgie-May, four, and stepdad Richard Morrison, she said the house is built "on solid ground."

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Experts urged them to leave as there is an "immediate risk to life" as more landslides could take place in the area.

Neath Port Talbot council issued a prohibition order back in February 2017- which prohibited anyone from inhabiting the properties because of the deadly risk.

The family was fined £100 by Swansea magistrates after breaching the order by returning home.

But he insisted the assessments on his home have shown it to be safe.

Step-dad Richard, who has lived on the street for 23 years, said: "It is not nice living in a street that's being knocked down at the same time".

"We are still in limbo, as we have been for the last six or seven years. With no offer on the table it's just impossible to move.

"The council are more powerful than me, so I just have to sit tight in limbo like we have been."

A phased demolition programme is now taking place on all the empty homes but insurers say theirs is safe.

He added: "The insurance company have deemed it fine. They said it was the grounds to the rear that's the issue, but the house is fine.

"We've had six risk assessments of the house and they've all come back clear."

Sophie and her step-dad are now slamming the council fro not offering them a place to stay.

The family said to have been left in a "limbo" with no neighbours and surrounded by rubble and dust.

She said: "The insurers won't pay anything because there is in not actually any damage to the house and the council hasn't offered us anywhere to go."

The council said the demolitions were being carried out for the safety of the residents.

A council spokesman said: "The demolition orders in Cyfyng Road are being carried out for reasons of public safety.

"The houses concerned, built on a slope, were affected by landslides in 2017 and after the council evacuated occupiers for their own safety, the owner and occupiers of three of the properties appealed against the action to the independent Residential Property Tribunal Wales.

"The tribunal panel members rejected the appeals, ruling Neath Port Talbot council's expert evidence showed none of the appeal properties were founded on solid rock and unanimously agreed the authority had shown there was a risk to residents from landslips."

The council said to have rehoused people who had to evict their homes and to have helped them with insurance claims.

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It comes as another man who lived in a 'ghost town' block of 128 flats in Lanarkshire has revealed that he refuses to leave, even though the council offered him £35k to move out.

Nick Wisniewski's, 66, home at Stanhope Place in Wishaw is scheduled for demolition, but he says he will not leave as he cannot buy a new property.

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