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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Home protection from disused mines
The Combe Down mines
The mines would be filled with foam concrete and steel supports
A 50m scheme to protect homes from falling into the Combe Down stone mines near Bath is expected to be given the go-ahead on Wednesday.

Local residents, environmental groups and English Nature have been campaigning to make the mines stable for years

Many homeowners are reported to have experienced problems selling their houses, and even getting insurance, due to the threat posed by the old stone mines.

The city of Bath was built from the mined stone, but they were abandoned 100 years ago and are now home to a community of rare bats.

Treasury approval

Emergency work has been carried out to shore up the caverns in the short term, with the interests of both the bats and local residents taken into account.

The scheme being proposed would see the caves and walkways filled with foam concrete and steel supports.

Bath & North East Somerset Council would like to start the work in 2004 - but will need special permission from the government.

If the plan is given the go ahead at a local level, it will pass to the Treasury for approval.

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