Hatfield homes hit by chalk mine blight

SIX households in a Hatfield road have been told they are living above chalk mines.

The blight on the properties in Chantry Lane was revealed by the latest investigations carried out on behalf of Welwyn Hatfield Council.

However, it is not believed there is any imminent danger.

The final phase of the probe began in September last year to gain further information about 14 areas in the town that had been previously identified as possible mining locations.

Results show two sites – both in Chantry Lane – show a high likelihood of chalk mining, and six affected households have been informed of the risks.

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However, the council is confident that as there is no historical evidence of subsidence in the area, no resident or property is at greater risk.

The investigation also showed five of the 14 areas had been identified as “no significant risk” and had been removed from the original list.

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Four areas have reduced in size, but have not been eliminated.

Two were inconclusive, and one is yet to be reported.

Within the areas where no evidence of risk exists, residents and businesses will now be free of additional planning and building control considerations.

Bob Jewell, director (finance and operations) at the council, said: “The reduction in the number of sites will be a relief to some residents and businesses.

“We appreciate this is also unfortunate news for some, but we are confident we are well placed to deal with the results, having gone through this process at Briars Lane in Hatfield.”

The next stage is to consider whether further work is required to determine the full extent of the Chantry Lane chalk mines.

The council will be meeting with the Homes and Communities Agency, the body responsible for the National Land Stabilistation Programme, to discuss available options.

Cllr Alan Franey, executive member for resources, said: “We want to reassure local people the work involved is in the interests of Hatfield residents.”

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