ASHOVER: Residents flee homes after mysterious hole appears in village

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Residents were forced to flee their homes after a mysterious hole appeared in a village.

An eight-metre-deep void emerged underneath a pathway on Malthouse Lane in Ashover on Monday morning – much to the bemusement of villagers.

People living in a neighbouring block of six flats were told to leave their homes.

The hole – which measured eight feet in diameter – is believed to have been a 19th Century well.

Duncan Stevens, of Ashover Post Office, said the void was the talk of the village.

He added: “A lot of people are surprised by it.

“There’s talk it was caused by a collapsed mine shaft but I’ve also heard it may have been the site of an old well.”

Ashover resident Ron Eyley, who sent us this picture, said: “I could hear the sides of the hole falling in.

“It seemed to be getting bigger and bigger.”

A spokesman for Rykneld Homes, which owns the flats, said: “Since being made aware of the hole, we have responded quickly to ensure residents are safe. Temporary accommodation has been provided for some residents while others are able to stay with family and friends.

“The Coal Authority has confirmed that records do not show any mining activity in the area but maps dated from 1879 identify a well and a later show a spring.

“Late yesterday afternoon the hole was filled with large stones to make it safe and this morning specialists were on site to undertake some further investigations to ensure that a permanent solution is found.

“We do not believe there is any immediate danger to the nearby buildings but as a precaution residents are being asked to remain in temporary accommodation.

“Rykneld Homes’ staff have contacted tenants and residents of the flats this morning to ensure they are comfortable and kept fully informed of the situation.”

A cordon remains in place around the hole.

Malthouse Lane, which was closed yesterday morning, is still shut.

Keep checking www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk for updates.