A sinkhole appeared overnight on a new housing estate in South Wales this week. The hole, said to be around 2ft square and 20ft (6m) deep, exposed gas and water pipes on the Taylor Wimpey development in Merthyr Tydfil.
The estate is so new that its roads have not yet been adopted by the local authority. And with only one road in and out of the development, drivers were forced to use the pavement for access.
A cordon was immediately set up around the hole, which appeared at Cwrt Bevan on the site of the former Mardy Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.
Engineers on the site were looking to stabilise the hole so it didn’t open up any further and examining how to fill it without damaging the exposed pipework.
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Long history of mining
Merthyr Tydfil is an area of with a long history heavy industry and coal mining. Open-cast mining continues in the area. Sinkholes have long been connected with areas that have historic mining shafts that are no longer in operation.
Mining searches are carried out by conveyancing solicitors to reveal if the area in which you intend to buy has a history of mining activities. While mining searches are an optional extra, the appearance of a sinkhole like the one in Merthyr Tydfil shows the risk that old mining works pose to new developments. Subsidence is also a risk where the land can shift suddenly and cause serious structural damage to property.
Search can reveal potential mine hazards
A coal mining search will reveal any mine entries within 20m of a property’s boundaries; any gas emissions from mines; any other mining hazards in the area; any plans for future mining locally; and any subsidence claims made with regards to brine pumping in the Cheshire salt mines.
While there are well-known former coal mining areas across England and Wales, anyone buying a property should consider paying for a mining search to give them peace of mind in their purchase.
When you instruct a conveyancing solicitor through Homeward Legal, your no-obligation quote will detail all the costs involved, including the fees for a mining search. Find out now how Homeward Legal can help with your property purchase with a call to 0800 038 6699.