The transformation of the east end of Glasgow into an international sports hub for the Commonwealth Games in 2014 is but the latest episode in the decades-long saga of regeneration of the area.

Successive city councillors, planners, economists and architects have wrestled with Quixotic plans to once again make the post-industrial city the Dear Green Place.

There have been many mistakes along the way, mostly due to vaulting municipal ambition. Glasgow undertook the largest, post-war, comprehensive redevelopment of any city in the UK and thousands of tenements were demolished. Famously, a delegation of councillors to Marseille in 1947 were so bedazzled by Le Corbusier’s tower blocks that they returned with visions of replacing dark slums with sun-filled, high-rise towers. The reality in rainy west of Scotland was very different. The most notorious blocks in Hutchesontown, where tenants used to conduct journalists on tours of the mould growing on the walls, have now been demolished.

With the award of the title of European City of Architecture in 1999 came a new sense of custodianship, not just of the ornate city centre buildings but of the streets of handsomely proportioned sandstone tenements which have been integral to the physical and social structure of the city since Victorian times.

Yet the recognition that too many have been lost that might have been refurbished has not spared the traditional streets around Parkhead from the developers’ bulldozers. The tried and tested model of three floors of tenement flats above ground floor shops provides the sense of community all planners seek. In this case, however, that has been trumped by the greater good of the new community due to emerge as the legacy of the Commonwealth Games.

Which is where Jack and Margaret Jaconelli come into the picture. Their tenement flat is now the only one still occupied in Ardenlea Street, the whole of which is to be demolished to provide a construction yard for the athletes’ village for the Games. The Jaconellis’ flat is the subject of a compulsory purchase order by the council.

Naturally, they don’t want to leave the home they have lived in for 34 years and now own outright. Mrs Jaconelli’s feisty resistance must endear her to all of us whose natural instinct is to take the side of the underdog in the face of corporate clout or against a public body failing in its duty to act fairly and reasonably. Having lost an appeal against a sheriff’s ruling that the council can evict her, she and her family have barricaded themselves in.

Unlike householders on land adjoining Donald Trump’s golf course in Aberdeenshire, who have gained assurances the tycoon will not ask the council to take out compulsory purchase orders on their homes, the stand-off between the couple and the council is not as simple a David and Goliath battle as it first appears. Mrs Jaconelli turned down the offer of £30,000 for her flat because it would not be sufficient to buy another. That is true but neighbours who took the offer when it was first made gained a sizeable deposit which enabled them to buy a better house.

The council has since increased its offer to £90,000 but Mrs Jaconelli was not satisfied because it compared poorly with compensation paid to property developers. The couple spend £5000 a year on heating their two-bedroom flat as a result of the condition of the building. A letter submitted to the court from their doctor says both are suffering from stress due to their housing circumstances and a move would improve their health. It surely is now in her interest to take the money on offer and move. [???!!!]

Nevertheless, the council must be held to account. The success or failure of the Games must be judged as much on the legacy as on the sporting festival, attendance figures and income generated. Improved health and wealth for ithe community are part of the deal.

It is not only the sanctity of people’s homes that must be respected. Instead of demolishing the stones and structure of the community, a new sense of purpose and pride in the east end of Glasgow would be better achieved by building on them.