Collapsing sink hole found on Cinderford NQtr proposed development site.
While surveying the Northern Quarter development site for wildlife a
member of the Dean Natural Alliance (DNA) came across what appeared
to be a mine shaft opening up only a 100 metres from the Primary School
at Steam Mills and within the Northern Quarter development site.
When this was mentioned to Paul Morgan from Dean Forest Voice who is
a Home Office Mines Surveyor of many years' experience he was intrigued
enough to suggest a visit to the site to survey the area.
On completing his assessment he said, 'This appears to be a substantial
mine entry, approximately fifteen metres wide, funnelling down some four
metres to the top of a shaft,
and possibly three metres in diameter.
But the depth was too dangerous to ascertain. There was evidence of youngsters
picnicking in the area and this gives real safety concerns. Ground movement is not a rare occurrence in this intensively mined area. Following the Duck Pit collapse by the Cricket Club and the recent Brierley slippage, this makes it the third time in two years.'
'It seems quite extraordinary,' Jonathan Porritt wrote recently, and perceptively, 'that there is now a serious intent to plant this grandiose development project on a 200 foot deep open cast mine in an area littered with mining operations going back hundreds of years.'
Over a dozen old sink holes have been found during wild life surveys in the recent past. Which is another reason why Dean Natural Alliance believes Cinderford's Northern Quarter is wholly unsuitable for any development.
How you can help: Write to the papers about your concern for safety and the potential for sink holes opening up if development goes ahead.