My family cannot face living on one big building site
EVERYWHERE the Keal family looks, there are boarded-up homes, rubbish strewn across the streets and signs of vandalism.
In fact, it is reminiscent of an apocalyptic scene from a disaster movie.
Michael Keal's home is just one of two properties in Greek Street not earmarked for regeneration.
Residents in Clyde Street fought a long and hard battle to ensure they moved out after facing similar problems.
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But Mr Keal, a train driver, represents a lone voice in his battle to move out of the bleak and empty street.
"We have had squatters and arson attacks nearby," Mr Keal said.
"Recently, I confronted a squatter who went into an adjacent property.
"There is also a lot of fly-tipping, with rubbish everywhere and old televisions piled up."
There have also been plenty of sleepless nights – not just down to worry.
"One night, there was a motorbike just going up and down the street which stopped and revved up outside my house," Mr Keal said.
"I was so angry, I got up at 4am and had a word.
"I have a 19-year-old daughter and a ten-year-old daughter, who I really worry about. I am concerned about arson attacks and people trying to get into the house.
"Some have the attitude all the homes are empty and it's some kind of free-for-all.
"All the street lights were turned off earlier this month and I had to battle to get them switched back on."
Mr Keal bought his house new 14 years ago.
"The first time we knew of any regeneration was in 2009," Mr Keal said.
"When I went to look at the plans, my home and next door wasn't earmarked for demolition but everywhere else was. The officer told me they thought it was a garage."
Mr Keal, 43, and his family have been left in a catch-22 situation.
"There was no way we want to stay in the empty street," he said.
"My house was worth £93,000 but I got some quotes and was told I'd be lucky to get £25,000 for it. I asked the council to buy me out at the original market value like they had done elsewhere but they refused.
"They told me the house was too new.
"I took it to the Ombudsman but, while she sympathised, she still came down on the side of the council. My family told me to take a step back as trying to fight the situation was getting me down and stressing me out."
As well as the current problems, Mr Keal is concerned when demolition and building work begin.
"We don't live close by a regeneration area, we are in the middle of it," he said.
"The council doesn't want to come and see us.
"I just want them to buy me out at a fair price so we can afford to move elsewhere.
"The council says my house will be worth a lot once the area is regenerated but we can't face living through this.
"At some point, this will be just one big building site.
"We're not looking for a big payout from the council, just a means to move out of here.
"I am not going to stop."
Ward councillor Lynn Petrini insists everything will be done to help Mr Keal and his family.
She said: "I have every sympathy with Mr Keal but the matter has been to the ombudsman.
"Unfortunately, this is public money and we can't justify buying a 14-year-old home to demolish.
"But he is entitled to the same services as any other rate payer. If there are problems with antisocial behaviour or street lighting then he needs to let us know."
Cllr Petrini also insists everything will be done to protect Mr Keal's welfare when demolition work begins.
She said: "Every precaution will be taken during demolition work which should start in the next couple of weeks.
"We will ensure his safety and security, keeping any upheaval to a minimum."
Cllr Petrini will hoping to meet Mr Keal shortly.