SEVEN homes will be demolished in Workington after a mine shaft was discovered under the properties.

Families who live in the terraced homes on one side of Hunter Street will have to relocate.

Their homes are being purchased by the Coal Authority.

Mark Jenkinson, Workington MP, has invited residents of the homes near to the affected area to a meeting to update them on the situation and respond to any concerns.

A Hunter Street resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “Now we have to find somewhere else to live, it’s sad. But the Coal Authority have been great with me.

“We don’t have a specific time scale, but we know the whole side of the street will have to go.”

Another resident, who lives nearby, said it was sad to see his neighbours go, some having lived there for more than 40 years.

He said: “It’s a great street and they’re all good neighbours, that will be the blow, losing the great neighbours.”

He added there was uncertainty over what would happen to the land once the homes were demolished.

Mr Jenkinson will chair a meeting at the Washington Central on Friday, March 13, at 6pm. He said: “Everyone who should be at the meeting should have received the letter. If anyone believes they should be at the meeting but hasn’t been invited, can contact my office. I’m confident the Coal Authority are taking the necessary cautionary approach.”

He added that until the Coal Authority did further investigation it was impossible to say what the land may be used for in the future.

Tim Marples, head of public safety and subsidence at the Coal Authority, said: “In November 2018 we were contacted by Allerdale Borough Council about localised ground movement from a coal mine shaft affecting a home on Hunter Street, Workington.

“Through our desktop research and detailed ground investigations, we confirmed that the movement was due to a historical coal mine shaft from the 1780s.

“As this is a coal mining legacy concern it is our responsibility to manage. While incidents like this are uncommon, we’re very experienced in dealing with these situations, to keep people safe and provide peace of mind.

“Our priority is to ensure the safety of residents by stabilising the ground. Therefore as a temporary solution we have injected a resin foam plug into the shaft to stabilise the surrounding area and also installed continuous telemetric monitoring systems at the property while we designed a permanent solution.

“We are in regular contact with the affected homeowners, the local community and the council.

“We have recently met Mark Jenkinson MP to outline our plans and offered to run a public meeting to share our plans with the community.

“We are pleased that Mark has agreed to chair this meeting scheduled for 13 March 2020.

“This meeting will allow us to outline our role and treatment plans - and also answer any questions the community has.”