Minor movements still being reported at Ripon's 66ft sinkhole

Picture: Glen Minikin
Picture: Glen Minikin

Minor signs of movement are still being reported at the Ripon sinkhole more than one week after it first appeared.

The sinkhole opened up in two back gardens on Magdalen’s Road in Ripon on Wednesday night, November 9, with twelve homes eventually evacuated as a result.

Ian Spiers, emergency planning manager for Harrogate Borough Council, said that the insurance companies are now looking at measures to stabilise the sinkhole.

He explained that three or four options were currently being investigated by the companies to fill the hole but they first have to ensure that the site is stabilised.

“We’ve had some reports of minor signs of movement at the site but nothing significant,” Mr Spiers said.

“They have already demolished the garage at one of the houses but some of the structural engineers are saying there have been cracks reported in the properties.

“We have been talking to engineers that’s what they expected but there has been no significant movement but there is still some movement.

“The four properties which back on to the sinkhole have been advised to stay out and are all in touch with their insurers and I believe they are all being looked after.”

A further seven homes were evacuated when a sewerage system connected to the properties cracked and fell in to the ground.

Mr Spiers said that Yorkshire Water were now working with their capital partners to try and find a temporary solution to the problem and allow some of the evacuated residents to return home.

He said: “The other properties evacuated are watching for signs of movement. They were at less risk structurally from the sinkhole but they were evacuated due to the sewage that collapsed. That was more the health risk of the water backing up.

“Those that decided to stay, we are advising them that if they hear loud noises or see any movement to leave and alert us.

“Because it’s on private property it’s down to the insurers now on how they want to progress it.

“Once they have got the sinkhole stabilised they want to make sure there’s no further damage to the properties before they can fill it.”