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The leaders of the seven local councils, the North of Tyne Mayor and Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner encourage people to work together to move out of Tier 3 as quickly and as safely as possible.

Clervaux Terrace in Fishburn

Information about the sinkhole in Clervaux Terrace in Fishburn.

Update - 19 May

Work to repair the road at the front of the properties and the back street are now complete.

There is a small amount of fencing work that will need to be completed, but we may not be able to look at this under current government guidance. We will look to complete it when it is safe to do so.

Properties 7 and 8 are secure and the insurers will start work when the current government restrictions are lifted.

Update - 23 April

It has been agreed that work to Clervaux Terrace will restart on Monday 27 April. We will repair the road in front of the properties and in the back street following the end of the works by Northumbrian Water. This should take one to two weeks.

Both houses 7 and 8 have been made secure and the insurers will start work when the current Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Update - 1 April

Since the last update, the specialist contractors operating on behalf of the insurers for number 7 have been able to support the front of the property and have also installed a scaffold cage inside.

We have completed a full survey of the drainage system to the front of Clervaux Terrace. Although the drainage system under the road is operating well, the survey has identified some issues on the Northumbrian Water (NWL) system.

What are we doing now?

Work on repairing the water supply and meter box to the rear of the properties is currently on hold and the back street will remain closed until further notice.

Once the current restrictions regarding coronavirus are removed, works will recommence on the reinstatement of the highway to the front of numbers 7 and 8, repair of the water supply to the rear of the properties and on the drainage system to the front of Clervaux Terrace.

Update - 13 March

Recovery group members, along with Northumbrian Water (NWL), met with local residents at the Community Centre on 5 March for the drop-in session. It gave everyone the opportunity to confirm progress to date, understand some of your concerns and our position.

The Fishburn Recovery Group met on Tuesday 10 March.

We have met with NWL and agreed a way forward to repair the road to rear of numbers 2 and 3. NWL have now provided an alternative water supply to the school and this will allow us to commence work on the road without disrupting the current supply.

What are we doing now?

Discussions continue with the residents and also the insurers of the affected properties. It has been advised that building work is expected to start in the next few weeks. Once this work starts and the properties are made safe, we will be able to start repairs to the road. 

We will start work at the rear of numbers 2 and 3 Clervaux Terrace on Friday 13 March - it will need a road closure and some access to nearby gardens. It is expected that this work will take up to one week.

We plan to arrange for a full survey on the drainage to the front of Clervaux Terrace to ensure the drainage system is fully operational and the subsidence has not caused any damage.

The subsidence in the grassed area opposite Clervaux Terrace has now been repaired with soil and levelled to match its surroundings. We have left the heras fencing in place in the short term while the grass grows. There could be some settlement of the new material and this is normal.

Update - 3 March

The Fishburn Recovery Group met on Tuesday 3 March.

We have monitored the grassed area opposite Clervaux Terrace and are happy that there has been no further movement. Therefore, we will arrange for the depression to be levelled to match its surroundings.

What we are we doing now

A joint meeting with Northumbrian Water has been scheduled to take place with local residents on Thursday 5 March.

We are monitoring the stability of number 7 on a daily basis and the temporary fencing will remain in place.

Our recovery group continue to meet on a weekly basis to review the situation and plan works accordingly.

We will continue to talk to residents of the affected properties, their insurers and building specialists. 

We are in discussions with the insurer's and building specialists, which will inform the repair to both the properties and the road. It is hoped that a scheme of works will be prepared in the coming weeks.

We are meeting Northumbrian Water on site to agree the plans to reinstate the road to the rear of numbers 2 and 3. We are confident that the repair will take place as soon as possible.

Update - 27 February

The Fishburn Recovery Group met on Tuesday 25 February and Northumbrian Water attended.

There continues to be concerns around the water supply and drainage to the front and rear of Clervaux Terrace. Northumbrian Water have fully checked the water supplies and they have not identified any issues. They were also on site last week to repair the road around the meter that feeds the school, which is to the rear of number 2 and 3 Clervaux Terrace.

What we are we doing now

Northumbrian Water will carry out a further check on water supplies this week, to confirm the situation hasn't changed. 

We are waiting for the insurer's report from the building specialists, which will help us plan future work. We can not repair the road until the structural assessment is complete and a plan is established.We plan to meet with the to plan the road repair around the water main. 

Together with Northumbrian Water we are keen to visit site and meet with residents to discuss the works.

We are monitoring the stability of number 7 on a daily basis and the temporary fencing will remain in place.

Our recovery group continue to meet on a weekly basis to review the situation and plan works accordingly.

We will continue to talk to residents of the affected properties, their insurers and building specialists. 

Update - 21 February

We have continued to visit the area to ensure public safety, update residents as additional information becomes available and have weekly review meetings. We appreciate residents are concerned and we can assure you every effort is being made to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, we haven't been able to carry on with work on the section of road affected by the sinkhole due to the continued deterioration in the condition of number seven Clervaux Terrace.

What we are doing now

Further site investigations have been undertaken and we have met with the residents of numbers seven and eight this week to discuss the outcome. These results will inform a way forward both for the properties and the repair of the road.

We are speaking to Northumbrian Water about the subsidence in the back street and on private land to the rear of Clervaux Terrace. We are aware of the importance of resolving this issue as soon as possible.

We are also speaking to Fishburn Parish Council and have provided forms for local residents to report past incidents of subsidence. We will consider any information received when making decisions on next steps.

Update - 12 February

Work has continued in the layby to repair the sinkhole outside number 7 Clervaux Terrace. Loose material has been removed to establish a firm base and a retaining structure has been constructed for the new kerb. Unfortunately, the storm conditions over the weekend have had a negative effect on number 7 and the property is now structurally unsafe. In order to ensure the safety of the public, we have, therefore, stopped work on the road.

What we are we doing now

We understand that nearby residents are concerned and every effort is being made to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Public safety is the priority, so we have fenced-off some areas and will continue to monitor the stability of the property on a daily basis.

We will continue to work with property owners who are directly affected, insurance companies and other relevant agencies including the Coal Authority to agree the best way forward. Weekly meetings are taking place with the recovery group to review the situation and plan work accordingly. We have also met with local councillors and some residents and a further on-site meeting will take place today.

We need to take a step-by-step approach and do further structural assessments on the properties directly affected by the sinkhole. Further work to repair the road can't start until the structural assessments are completed.

Icon for pdf Sinkhole at Clervaux Terrace, Fishburn video transcript (PDF, 81.7kb)

Update - 5 February

A small sinkhole appeared in the parking lay-by at the southern end of Clervaux Terrace overnight on Tuesday 21 January. Emergency services and our highways services went to make sure local residents weren't in danger. The sinkhole area was fenced-off to keep people safe while waiting for repair work to start.

On the morning of Friday 24 January, the sinkhole grew much bigger, affecting a larger part of the lay-by, the road, the footpath and two nearby properties. Highways services and our buildings inspectors ensured that people were safe, assessed the damage and checked that other properties weren't at risk. The utility companies and the Coal Authority were also called out to help and provide advice. The families in the two properties were moved out because their houses weren't safe and their utilities had to be cut off. Housing and social services have helped to find them other accommodation.

The fencing was extended around the much larger hole and two-way traffic lights were put on the road to keep traffic moving safely.

Some residents were worried about possible changes in the levels of the grassed area on the other side of the road, so this was fenced-off as a precaution while it was investigated. However, it would appear that this area has been like this for a number of years.

What we are we doing now

We are:

  • fencing off some areas to protect the public
  • monitoring the stability of the hole on a daily basis
  • working to repair the road
  • meeting with local councillors and residents to discuss the issue and to listen to concerns
  • setting up a 'recovery group' to coordinate the different services and agencies so we can work together to return things to normal as quickly as possible and to support the residents directly affected

We are working with the utility companies, engineers and insurers to work out how long all of the work will take. At this stage, we can't give an overall estimate but as soon as we have a better idea of how long each step will take, the amount of work involved and when the different stages can begin, we will update this page.

Work will continue over the next two to three weeks to repair the road. Once this is done, the utility companies will check the utilities and carry-out any necessary repairs. Work will then start to repair the footpath.

At the same time, engineers will continue to assess the damage to the two properties.

How to keep informed

We will keep this page up to date, and write to local residents, as more information becomes available.

The two households that remain in temporary accommodation will receive advice around their next steps.

Thank you

The sinkhole has caused a lot of local disruption and concern. We are very grateful for your cooperation and patience while we work to resolve things as quickly as we can.

Contact us
Clervaux Terrace
03000 26 0000
Our address is:
  • Abbey Road
  • Pity Me
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5DQ
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