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Owner of house that collapsed ordered to pay £55,000

The owner of a house that collapsed into a stream running beneath it has been ordered to pay £55,000 for repairs or the council will demolish it.  

From the outside, it looks like an typical end-terrace house, but the ground floor partially collapsed into the subterranean tunnel in August.

Rossendale Council say that the damage is the responsibility of the owner of 37 Burnley Road in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, but as no work has been done to make the house safe they have been granted an order by magistrates to demolish the house.

From the outside, it looks like an typical end-terrace house, but the ground floor partially collapsed into the subterranean tunnel in August

They advised residents of three neighbouring houses to evacuate, as the damage represented a 'danger to the public'

They advised residents of three neighbouring houses to evacuate, as the damage represented a ‘danger to the public’

Rossendale council say they were informed of the original collapse in April 2016 and had asked Mr Miah to make the property safe so that the culvert could be accessed for repair

Rossendale council say they were informed of the original collapse in April 2016 and had asked Mr Miah to make the property safe so that the culvert could be accessed for repair

They advised residents of three neighbouring houses to evacuate, as the damage represented a ‘danger to the public’.

But owner Ponke Miah, who lives elsewhere in Rossendale, says the repairs are estimated to cost upwards of £55,000, which he cannot afford.

He argues that as the culvert extends beneath the adjacent footpath, Lancashire County Council (LCC) share responsibility for fixing the damage.

He said: ‘The culvert, I can’t repair it on my own, I need LCC to step in. 

‘The council have taken an estimate of £55,000, plus VAT.

‘It’s not possible to raise that money for repairs on my own because the cost is enormous. It’s very stressful.

‘I am the biggest loser here. I am losing a house which is worth £100,000. Yes it is a danger – but something can be done about this.’

County hall say upon inspection of the culvert, their bridges team found the damage was not affecting the bridge which supports the footpath, known as Lark Hill Lane

County hall say upon inspection of the culvert, their bridges team found the damage was not affecting the bridge which supports the footpath, known as Lark Hill Lane

Rossendale Council say that the damage is the responsibility of the owner of 37 Burnley Road in Rawtenstall, Lancashire

Rossendale Council say that the damage is the responsibility of the owner of 37 Burnley Road in Rawtenstall, Lancashire

Ponke Miah, who lives elsewhere in Rossendale, says the repairs are estimated to cost upwards of £55,000, which he cannot afford

Ponke Miah, who lives elsewhere in Rossendale, says the repairs are estimated to cost upwards of £55,000, which he cannot afford

Following further collapse in March this year, the council has given Mr Miah until December 1 to comply with a court order or the building will be demolished

Following further collapse in March this year, the council has given Mr Miah until December 1 to comply with a court order or the building will be demolished

County hall say upon inspection of the culvert, their bridges team found the damage was not affecting the bridge which supports the footpath, known as Lark Hill Lane.

A spokesman said: ‘This confirmed that the collapse was not affecting the bridge, apart from the collapsed masonry causing a weir effect, causing a deepening of the stream bed.

‘Once the privately-owned section of the culvert has been repaired we will be able to make repairs to the stream bed within the limits of the adopted structure to ensure it does not erode any further.’

Rossendale council say they were informed of the original collapse in April 2016 and had asked Mr Miah to make the property safe so that the culvert could be accessed for repair.

Following further collapse in March this year and no work being carried out, they have given Mr Miah until December 1 to comply with a court order granted at Burnley Magistrates Court in October, otherwise the building will be demolished as the most ‘cost effective way forward’.

In a statement, Rossendale Council said: ‘In April 2016 the local authority were informed of a collapsed culvert along Burnley Road which had compromised the stability of 37 Burnley Road.

‘Officers of the council visited the site along with our appointed consultants where it was agreed that the property represented a danger to the public due to the proximity to the highway and the neighbouring properties.

‘The residents of 37, 39, 41 and 43 Burnley Road were advised to vacate their properties from a safety perspective.

‘It is clear that the culvert needs to be repaired, however 37 Burnley Road first needs to be made safe to enable the culvert to be accessed to repair.

‘Over the next year the council contacted the owner of 37 Burnley Road, Mr Ponke Miah, on several occasions requesting that he make the building safe.

‘On 29th March 2017 the Environment Agency advised that the culvert had suffered further collapse.

‘Mr Miah was then advised that the council would be applying to the Magistrates Court under Section 77 of the Building Act to require him to either make the property safe or demolish the property given that a significant time period had lapsed without any work being undertaken to make the property safe.

‘On 6th October 2017 Burnley Magistrates Court issued an Order pursuant to Section 77 which requires the owner to execute such work as may be necessary to obviate the danger or demolish the dangerous part of the building.

‘Mr Miah has until December 1, 2017 to comply with the Order. If this does not occur the local authority may execute the order in such manner as they see fit.

‘If the Local Authority step in then the property will be demolished as this is a more cost effective way forward compared to making the property safe.

‘Lark Hill Lane, which runs adjacent to the property, is an adopted highway and Mr Miah mentioned to the judge that he considered that LCC were partly responsible in respect of repairing the culvert.

‘Rossendale Borough Council cannot comment on whether LCC are liable for any repairs in respect of the culvert however the Order issued relates to making the property safe not the culvert.

‘Either making the property safe/ demolishing the property would allow access to the culvert to allow the necessary repairs to be carried out.

‘The Order was issued as the property is unsafe and the Local Authority are keen to ensure that this situation is rectified as a matter of urgency.’ 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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