Investigation into Welwyn Garden City chalk mines

TWO chalk mines have been discovered underneath a WGC street, prompting Welwyn hatfield Council into a costly investigation.

Fears the current instability underneath Daniells, in Panshanger, could cause a gas explosion or water and sewerage pipes to crack have forced Welwyn Hatfield Council to pay out �10,000 for an investigation into the problem, a move that was agreed by councillors at a meeting on Monday.

As previously reported by the WHT in 2009, Daniells residents were concerned that subsidence in the street could cause a serious accident, and in 2008 a house partially collapsed.

But an investigation conducted earlier this year has revealed the extent of the problem – there are two historic chalk mines at risk of collapse within 500m of the affected house.

But the revelation was news to residents in Daniells, who had been led to believe the issue was due to swallow holes.

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When the WHT visited the street yesterday (Tuesday) householders said they had heard nothing on the development.

One resident said: “We’ve heard nothing about it since you [the WHT] first reported it.

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“We got a letter through about it saying there was going to be an investigation for a couple of months.

“That was the last we heard about it, until you knocked on the door.”

Another homeowner added: “We’ve been kept in the dark.”

The council’s �10,000 provision will go towards finding out how large the area affected is, and whether or not the problem needs to be fixed.

Solving the problem could cost around �170,000.

Although the council has no budget for the work, councillors agreed to fund the investigation as the problem could affect a number of other properties in Daniells, and the wider community as a whole, if there was to be another collapse in the future.

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