Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire B&B sink hole: Work begins to stabilise land

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Media captionThe hole will be filled with concrete and ash

Work has begun to inject a mixture of concrete and ash into a sinkhole which opened up next to a bed and breakfast business in north Staffordshire.

The 40m (130ft) deep sinkhole appeared next to The Laurels, in Oakamoor, in April.

The business had already been forced to close after cracks appeared in the property and the car park.

Owner Helen Tester said she hoped they could be open again in October.

Image caption The house used to belong to Helen Tester's parents
Image copyright The Laurels
Image caption Engineers were called in to assess damage caused by the landslip

Her husband Phil said the sinkhole was an "annoying complication" to a "massive landslip" affecting the hillside on which the property is built.

"You can see that the fields and our drive are basically sliding down the hill," he said.

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Media captionThe hole expanded to more than 10ft (3m) wide, the B&B owner said

When the sinkhole first appeared the couple's insurers brought in engineers to assess damage and monitor the landslide.

Mr Tester said his property was built over a clay pit and experts had struggled to find solid rock.

Work to excavate land further down the hillside from the B&B for redevelopment was stopped by the Health and Safety Executive in January 2014 after the landslip.

The £2m cost of the project will mainly be met by insurers.

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