One of the last remaining residents of a derelict estate dubbed 'Britain's Chernobyl" says he won't leave - despite it being earmarked for demolition
One of the last few remaining residents of a derelict estate dubbed 'Britain's Chernobyl" says he won't leave - despite it being earmarked for demolition. Marshal Craig, 70, still lives in Clune Park, which has been virtually empty for years and looks like something from a post-apocalyptic film. Built in 1905 it is made up of 430 flats in rotting tenement buildings as well as a rundown church - all covered in graffiti and litter. It was abandoned in 1997 and is now a ghost town and the target of arson attacks with some of the cheapest properties in Britain - in 2020 one flat sold for 6K. The estate in Port Glasgow in Inverclyde was privately owned but Inverclyde Council has bought more than half the properties and wants to demolish the lot. Marshal says he is one of just five people left there but has no plans to leave - claiming it is ''idyllic''. The retired forestry worker said: "I've lived here for 20 years all in all and four years in this particular house. ''Quite frankly, I don't want to move and I'm quite happy here. "I know it's rough sometimes and people come in and smash stuff but I'm perfectly happy here and I don't want to leave. "In some ways it's quite idyllic. My house is built like a castle. The walls are thick and sturdy, there's a nice view and no dampness. "The only thing the view from my kitchen window is missing is a few palm trees!" The estate was largely abandoned in the late 1990s after the majority of the shipyard workers employed nearby moved out. Marshal says the remaining five residents all stay in the same area of one block. He said: "When I first moved here there was a lot more people, but now it's pretty much empty. "Now, out of the 480 families that would be able to stay here, there's only five of us left holding down the fort. "They're great neighbours. I think I'll be tying myself to the radiator if they make me move out." Although Marshal loves his home the estate has become renowned for smashed windows, litter and fires. Urban explorers regularly visit the site to see the abandoned flats covered in graffiti. Inverclyde Council confirmed they they will be pursuing a compulsory purchase order in January to demolish the estate entirely and build 100-120 new homes. Marshal said: "These are good solid buildings. Why not just do this place up and house people in them that need them. "There is some anti-social behaviour usually late at night. The fire damage and broken windows are the worst thing. "I probably call the fire brigade more than anyone else and when I hear a fire engine now I don't even get up to see what's going on anymore. ''It's just part of the background now. "That all happens in the other three blocks though. Where we are at the end of the fourth block is absolutely fine. "I'm really happy here, it's my home and I've lived here for 20 years so I don't want to go." The semi-derelict estate has been dubbed 'Scotland's Chernobyl'. The majority of the flats are small, with 69 bedsits, 310 one-bedroom flats and 51 two-bedroom flats. Inverclyde Council has already acquired over 50 per cent of the housing on the estate and are attempting to purchase remaining properties. 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. “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. But Clune Park has been identified in the Inverclyde Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2023-28 for approximately 100-120 units.