Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Gorebridge homes to be demolished after carbon dioxide gas leak

Gorebridge's Newbyres Crescent
Image caption Councillors have approved the demolition of 64 homes on Gorebridge's Newbyres Crescent and Gore Avenue after high levels of carbon dioxide were recorded

Plans to demolish 64 homes in Midlothian after gas was discovered seeping into them from old mine workings have been approved.

The houses in Gorebridge were built from 2007 to 2009 without special protective barriers - known as gas membranes - underneath.

The carbon dioxide problem came to light in September when two people had to receive hospital treatment.

A final decision on where residents will be re-housed will be taken later.

Owen Thompson, leader of Midlothian Council, said: "I can only imagine the worry and distress being experienced by residents in these homes.

"Demolition is the only option which will rule out entirely the possibility of further leaks of carbon dioxide into these homes over the longer term.

Legal advice

"Our planning can now accelerate and we will ensure we work with each individual resident, together with our NHS colleagues, to support them as much as possible in the process of finding them alternative permanent tenancies meeting their needs."

Residents of Newbyres Crescent and Gore Avenue were told in May that all the options being considered would involve people leaving their homes for at least three months.

"Our first priority is protecting residents' health," added Mr Thompson.

"Meanwhile, we are currently taking legal advice as to whether any of the consultants or contractors engaged by the council failed to comply with their legal obligations."

The council is investigating the possibility of bringing forward plans to build new homes in the Greenhall area of the town as part of its re-housing plan.

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