Homes wrecked by subsidence
Last updated at 15:09, Thursday, 14 March 2013
TEN homes in Mickley have been earmarked for demolition after years of damage caused by mining subsidence.
The Coal Authority has offered to buy six properties at the end of North View and four at the end of South View.
Some occupants have accepted a deal and agreed to move on, while others remain undecided.
The authority can not force anyone out and is giving residents time to find new properties.
A spokesman, however, said its prime concern was public safety.
“They have made offers to buy the house but, for now, I’m still here,” said one resident who has lived at South View for 42 years.
“Whether I leave depends on what they can offer.”
“I want to get away from here,” said another who has been there 50 years.
“There’s been subsidence on the street twice, then a landslip and I can’t see anybody else wanting to buy my house.”
Mickley has suffered several incidents of subsidence since the local colliery closed in 1956.
Seven years ago, several properties on South View had to be demolished, following a decade of worry for residents over ever growing cracks in walls.
At that time, it was discovered that the houses stood just 15 metres above a previously unrecorded shallow mine shaft.
Then in 2011, a number of residents in the area were shocked to find huge cracks opening up in the walls of their houses, along with other structural damage.
The Coal Authority began test drilling to identify the extent of mine working and installed monitoring devices to see if ground movement was continuing.
Although several properties near the centre of the subsidence movement have been damaged, monitoring has shown it is localised and that the remainder of the street is unaffected.
“Under its public duties, the authority is committed to finding a solution to this problem and under normal circumstances we would look to stabilising the mine workings and repairing the damaged properties,” a spokesman said.
“However, taking into account factors including the age and construction of the properties, together with a number of other technical difficulties, on this occasion the repair option is not viable at this site.
“Consequently, the affected properties require purchasing and ultimately demolishing.
“The authority understands the inconvenience and possible stress the situation is having on the residents and is working closely with all residents whether they have been directly affected or not.”
Although 10 properties are earmarked for demolition, one on North View may remain intact if it does not suffer further structural damage as the others are razed to the ground.
County councillor for the area, Coun. Anne Dale. said: “It is up to residents whether they move or not, but I can understand how much they care about where they live. It’s an emotive issue and it’s so been going on for a while, so I can understand it is upsetting to people. Many have lived there all their lives.”
First published at 07:39, Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk