Red-faced council chiefs say four brand new homes will have to be torn down after it was discovered they’d been built on top of a ‘burning coal seam’- which has flooded the properties with toxic gas.
Four new two-storey abodes off Rufford Close in Boythorpe will be demolished to ensure residents' safety after a poisonous gas leak, Chesterfield Borough Council have confirmed.
Carbon monoxide detectors have been handed to residents living nearby before the houses are knocked down so the coal seam can be 'extracted'.
'We are confident no-one has been put at risk'
Huw Bowen, chief executive at Chesterfield Borough Council, said the council's 'first concern' was the 'safety of residents'.
He added: “Carbon monoxide has been detected in the new build council homes at Rufford Close. However, we are confident that no-one has been put at risk.
“Working with the Coal Authority, it has been decided that all four homes will be demolished to allow extraction of a burning coal seam below the properties and under the car park to the front of the properties."
'It seems a right waste'
The properties were built as part of a multi-million pound scheme to improve council housing in Chesterfield.
Coal Authority’s staff are actively monitoring carbon monoxide levels at the site and say there is 'no indication' of adverse levels in the surrounding area.
“As a precaution we have also given additional carbon monoxide detectors to residents of nearby properties and provided them with advice for what they should do in the unlikely event that any carbon monoxide is detected," added Mr Bowen.
A woman who lives on Rufford Close said: "Those houses must have cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to build, so it seems a right waste. The money and time could have been spent on other things.
"It's better they found out now though, before families moved in. I'm worried about what will happen when they start digging things up but it's better to be safe than sorry."