Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 10:47 UK

Hole raises fears on homes safety


Andy Kearney inspects some of the damage to properties

A Cornwall man is demanding to know if other houses are in danger after his was declared unsafe following the appearance of a large hole.

A hole about 3ft wide has opened up at the front of Andy Kearney's house in New Street, Troon, and cracks have appeared in the property's walls.

Mr Kearney, 64, blames an adit, or mine entrance, which flooded in 2001.

Cornwall Council said first investigations were inconclusive but technical works should be made soon.

'Little value'

Mr Kearney, a former aerospace engineer, alerted the council after his dog started digging at the front of his house and nearly fell into the hole.

He suspects that an adit, which he thinks extends 25m (82ft) along the road, could affect other houses

He said: "The adit must be made safe or they need to confirm that there is not a problem.

"Otherwise this housing stock is of little value."

Mr Kearney's daughter, her husband and their four children who lived in the house, have been rehoused by the council in Camborne.

Cornwall Council said it was seeking approval for further technical works from the Land Stabilisation Programme, which provides government funding to deal with the effects of abandoned non-coal mine workings.

Principal engineer Tony Sandercock said: "We are moving in the right direction and it is very positive for the people of Troon."

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