Concerns about 'rat superhighway' in Chesterfield pipe network after reports of vermin infestation

A Chesterfield councillor fears there could be a ‘rat superhighway’ in the old pipes, that run underneath the borough.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 2:09 pm

It comes after residents in Hollingwood complained about ‘hundreds’ of rats in the community.

One home-owner who lives on Lilac Street said she wouldn’t leave her back door open as the vermin have been seen looking in through patio doors and are thought to be living under decking.

Hollingwood and Inkersall councillor Paul Mann said they could be using a 100-year-old underground network of disused pipes that have not been sealed off as a ‘rat run’.

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Several residents in Hollingwood have reported problems with rats
Several residents in Hollingwood have reported problems with rats

The Community Independents representative has also been investigating complaints from residents on Elm Street.

Mr Mann said: "Unless you lived there 20 years ago you won't understand that underneath Hollingwood, it was on a ring main to the boiler site, a central communal hot water site.

"The pipes are still underground so potentially there is a rat superhighway for them.

"A network of tunnels which would enable any form of vermin to get about Hollingwood, the whole estate as well.

There is concern about a large rat infestation in Hollingwood. Rat-catcher Colin Sims holds up a brown rat caught at a residential property in southwest London on March 15, 2021. Photo by MARTINE PAUWELS/AFP via Getty Images.

"The position for food, somewhere to live and to get around potentially safely for a rat is there.”

The councillor suggested that stop taps could be used to inject poison into the tunnels while keeping it away from children and dogs.

Mr Mann added: "I think it is going to be a long winded solution if my theories of the potential rat-run so to speak, pardon the pun, under Hollingwood is where they all are.”

Residents have be asked to report sightings to the council and to avoid leaving food lying around.

A spokesperson for Chesterfield Borough Council said: “We understand that there are reports of rats around Lilac Street in Hollingwood, we would appreciate it if local residents could get in touch directly with us to enable us to investigate further.

"You can contact us about rats and other pests by calling 01246 345345 or emailing [email protected]

“There can be any number of reasons why rats may be in an area and we ask residents to remain vigilant by ensuring they properly secure refuse sacks, avoid spilling bird seed on the ground, ensure compost bins are properly closed and also check under decking and sheds for evidence of rats.”

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