Council Leader considering next steps after four new homes demolished in Chesterfield due to carbon monoxide fears

The properties were taken down in July this year.

Four new houses have been demolished over raised carbon monoxide levels in Chesterfield.

The borough council say the buildings on Rufford Close, which were built in 2017, had to be taken down due to an exposed coal seam.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of the Council at Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “The safety of our residents is our key priority and we are confident that no other homes at Rufford Close have been affected.

 “I can confirm that the four new houses at Rufford Close were demolished in July this year. Kitchen and bathroom fittings, windows and doors and many other elements were removed prior to demolition for reuse in future building projects.

 We have now received detailed advice from our experts on the ground conditions. The investigations, which have been extensive, show that the coal seam is exposed and requires sealing to eradicate the risk of fire in the future.

 “The material that was brought on site to fill the void left following the removal of the coal seam prior to construction of the homes is also unsuitable and therefore needs to be removed.

“I can confirm there is no underground fire and the gases which were present in the demolished homes were as a result of chemical reactions in the material that had been brought on site.

 “The gases present were the same as you would expect from a burning coal seam, so the assumption made that we were dealing with an underground fire was valid and could only be accurately determined through detailed investigation of the ground conditions after the homes had been demolished.

 “Air pollution monitors and security arrangements will remain in place as a precaution throughout the process of removing the material from site, sealing the coal seam and filling the void with clean material.

 “The council will work closely with the Coal Authority to manage the works and contractors on site. These works will commence early November 2019 and will last for approximately 18 weeks.

 “Following the works the site will be clean, and its future use will be subject to resident consultation.”

The properties cost more than £800,000 to construct.

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